The Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) has been collaborating with teachers and secondary schools to gather and analyse data relevant to forensic science.
Currently over 400 S1-S3 students have participated in this study since December 2022.
“I really enjoyed it, I wanted to look into crime in science. I don’t like science but this makes me interested in science.” – one student commented.
Back in 2019 a group of teachers from Dundee visited LRCFS to discuss how to feature forensic science research in their classrooms in a way that could help support the curriculum aims. A joint method was produced with Dr Hervé Ménard and was due be rolled out in schools in March 2020. However, the roll-out was put on pause until 2022, following the lifting of COVID restrictions.
The since revived Citizen Science project has involved S1 and S3 student from schools across Dundee, Angus and Aberdeenshire who have been contributing by collecting and analysing fibres from their clothes.
Dr Hervé Ménard, the researcher in charge of this project, hopes that these students’ submissions will help forensic scientists to gain a better understanding of the transfer and persistence, as well as the background abundance of fibres in everyday life. The LRCFS also hopes that participation in this experiment will have a positive impact on students’ confidence and perception of science.
Participating students have gained an experience comparable to the methodologies carried out by professional forensic scientists. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 lockdown, many of the students had their first experience with microscopes during this project.
The successful execution of the project has also been thanks to the contributions of LRCFS staff and PhD researchers who have also benefited from the face-to-face engagement experience of interacting with schools. Building our researchers public engagement skills helps them to develop their communication skills.
Thank you to Baldragon Academy, Monifieth High School & Portlethen Academy for taking part, along with the many members of LRCFS who have helped deliver this activity.
If you know a group who would be interested in contributing to Citizen Science research, please email us at LRCFSPublicEngagement@dundee.ac.uk
Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science, School of Science and Engineering, University of Dundee.