The recent school holidays provided a chance for four intrepid Loreto ladies to set off on some exciting Science adventures, which included a week long ‘Forensic Science Camp’ in New South Wales, and a ‘Hands On Engineering’ workshop hosted by the University of Melbourne.

Forensic Science Camp:  

  • By Stephanie Jones (Year 8)

The main purpose of the Forensic Science Camp was to solve a series of crimes. The 100 campers were split up into task forces of three or four people who they would work with for the four days to solve our case (the last day was for the committal hearing). Overall there were six different cases, each with five task forces working separately on it. The cases involved multiple crimes ranging from bank robberies to arson to murder.

As forensic scientists, we had no access to the crime scene but were given all evidence found at the scene, as well as many interviews, and we could email Police HQ to get more detail on the scene or to get further testing done on blood or fingerprint samples. Our job was to analyse and test evidence such as hair and fibre samples, blood samples, soil samples and fingerprints to find the culprit.

Our task force, Marlowe, was given the case of “Winner Takes It All”. Our case involved 4 murders, a kidnapping, an assault and arson. The crimes happened over the 4 days that we were there, so with our case for example, on the first day we had a murder and a kidnapping, then another murder, murder and assault, and finally, murder and arson. As we got the evidence for each crime we would take it to the labs and run tests to find out what type of hair it is, if it is real blood or fake, does the ink from that code match the ink in this pen, etc. Analysing the evidence finally led to us finding the suspect.

On the third day of camp we had to come up with a suspect so we could send out a search warrant. The search warrant involved the police searching the suspect’s house for any more suspicious evidence to either confirm them as suspect or rule them out.

Once we got the evidence from the searches back on the fourth day, we collected our evidence and sent in the arrest warrants to arrest the suspect. Then we got together with the four other task forces from “Winner Takes It All” to create our committal presentation. I highly recommend this camp to anyone who is interested in science of any sort!

  • By Maddison Fogarty (Year 8)

In the winter holidays Jaida Trigg, Stephanie Jones and myself, attended a forensic science camp in Armidale, NSW, from the 5th to the 9th of July. After hearing about the camp last year, we all knew it would be a golden opportunity and we just had to apply. The three of us applied individually, and out of the estimated 400 applicants, we got in to the final 100. Travelling up there was tiring and time consuming, but it was totally worth it. We got the amazing opportunity to solve a series of crimes, make life-long friendships with like-minded people, access forensic resources and equipment, do something new and broaden our knowledge and understanding of this spectacular science.

This camp has got to be one of the most wonderful experiences of my life so far; I got to show a side of myself people don’t usually see, I got to make friends with lovely people, I got to expand my knowledge of forensic science, I became more confident in my ambitions and I got to feel a great deal of happiness, which I believe is the most important thing in life. I had an absolutely marvellous time and would recommend this camp to anyone looking to pursue a career in the forensic field or just looking to do something fun and interesting.

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  • By Jaida Trigg (Year 8)

In between the brain staking hard work, we were always advised to attend compulsory fun every day.  Compulsory fun was an activity that was held in the gym or sometimes outside, they had many activities that you could choose from including dodgeball tournaments and slam dunk competitions.

On the first day, we also had a fun little brain teaser game to get our brains up and running, then we went to the gymnasium and started a mini compulsory fun game, which was soccer. On Wednesday we played dodgeball, it was exhilarating because you had to be on your toes the whole time, and no one gave you mercy. That night there was a trivia game that went for an hour and a half, it was amazing! There were various questions about different topics like geography and, of course, crime. They were all extremely hard and you had to work as a team to figure them out.

Then on Thursday we had a mixture of basketball, soccer and dodgeball which was great because you were able to show off your abilities in what you were good at, and you could meet new people that liked the same sports and activities as you. Thursday night we did space jump, it was hilarious because you were able to make a fool out of yourself but look normal at the same time.

Friday was a bit of a free play type of compulsory fun, so you were able to mingle with other campers and even share your contacts to keep in touch. Also on Friday, there was a movie night and we watched “National Treasure”. The movie, of course, was about mystery and crime. Friday was a sad day for everyone, not only because our wonderful time at the camp was ending but also because we were leaving behind lots of amazing new friends that we met there, but that we would never forget and stay in touch with.


Hands on Engineering Workshop

By Samantha Dunstan (Year 10)

Sam Dunstan

On the holidays I went to ‘Hands on Engineering’ at Melbourne University on June 30. It was a chance for me to spend a day learning about the different engineering opportunities that are offered.

The first activity was to think like the minds of a Civil, Mechanical and Electrical engineer by building a bridge (Civil Engineering) or making a small remote controlled car (Mechanical and Electrical Engineering) out of various equipment to suit the scenario we were given.

The next activity provided insight into Humanitarian Engineering, where we were informed of a program called ‘Engineers without Borders’. This project is setup to help out disadvantaged communities by building homes, wells and anything in between to help provide a poverty-free world. In this workshop we were asked to make a floating vessel that was strong enough to hold as many marbles as possible. To achieve this we used balloons, straws, cups and tape as well as keeping in mind a set budget.

Our next task looked at the ‘Melbourne Space Program’ where we were to build a tall tower using 50 straws and 15 toothpicks. This structure needed to be strong enough to hold a tennis ball at the top.

The final project saw us mixing gummy bears with salt water to create reverse-osmosis in a chemical engineering workshop.

The ‘Hands on Engineering’ day equipped me with knowledge of all the different types of engineering, and provided me with some knowledge of the engineering world. It was a fantastic day that was both beneficial and worthwhile.