Murder Mystery and the STEM agenda
There has been increasing focus on STEM within schools in recent years, so much so, that Amazon itself now has a STEM section.
For those not already in the Education-jargon look STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. So why are we, at a murder mystery company involved?
Because, believe it or not, crime solving falls into both Science and Technology, and in some cases Maths!
In the last two years we’ve developed a range of products to help support forensic science studies within the curriculum.
Initially we were finding that schools and individuals were purchasing our Fingerprint Kits, which contain information on fingerprint collection and analysis as well as true-type fingerprint ink which leaves no stains on the fingers.This small kit made an ideal extra for many schools studying fingerprinting, and we
know that the mini-booklet enclosed within it has been referenced for at least one project in the USA as we were asked for reference details.
Crime Scene Kits
After that we developed our Crime Scene Kit and Complete Crime Scene Kits which contain a variety of other tools used by Scene of Crime officers, as well as some gimmicks, and another little booklet entitled “Crime Scene Investigation” which explains quickly what goes on when officers first locate a crime scene and the procedure for investigating it. Again that mini booklet has proved a good educational tool and while it isn’t sold separately at retail, schools can access the mini-pamphlet in bulk orders where needed.
Murder mystery activities
Realizing the interest in all things crime at all levels of education, we then developed a working “party” for 7-11 year olds which is designed to run with 4 workstations taking in the basis of crime scene investigation, namely: footprint analysis, fingerprint analysis, crime scene analysis and code breaking (yes, I know… code breaking isn’t particularly “crime scene” unless you work in spy-world – but it’s fantastic for maths studies.)All of these work station ideas can be expanded upon in an educational setting and come complete with information sheets explaining how to run each work station and also the final “reveal” session which puts everything the children have learned together to locate the culprit.
At every level of this activity party teachers can expand the workstations to encourage higher learning for more able pupils. E.g. they could include maths equations to work out heights of individuals from stride patterns, they could increase the complexity of the code breaking to make it a mathematical analysis of letter frequencies to work out which is which.
For older children aged 13+ we also stock a fantastic educational Multi-room murder mystery called “Murder at John Doe Middle School.” This was designed specifically for a middle school in Baton Rouge to enable them to showcase and bring together their forensic science studies for a big whole school activity. Again this game uses workstations, and there are many ideas for work stations you could use. However instead of a simple crime, the children become involved in solving a staged murder within the building, and can interrogate witnesses, as well as puzzle their way through forensic science work stations to receive reports and then combine interviews and forensic reports to identify who killed the victim. Multi-room events are not for the faint hearted, but they are superb fun, and with a little extra planning you can adjust the games to allow them to run in different ways e.g. getting the drama class to record the suspect interviews so you don’t need a real suspect to interrogate within the classroom, or using the workshops to run a series of class based activities which culminate in a session with 4 suspects.
Online interactive mystery with school resources
In addition to those two games readily available on our website. We have also produced an interactive mystery game for educational purposes in conjunction with a number of sponsors and the National Fishing Heritage Centre. This was part of the museums at night experience in 2013, and thanks to local support we’ve been able to use that evening to produce a fantastic on-line interactive game which can be used to support short-time frame forensic studies in school. We’ve produced an educational supplement to accompany the game which is available on the TES here:
FREE – educational support information for Murder! – Cargo connections?
Why not visit the actual game to try it yourself…