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.

Fingerprint kits

Fingerprint(small) 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

Complete CSI kit display 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

MI4 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.

 

johndoemiddleschool 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.

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?

You’ll find the actual on-line game here:

freegamebox2

 

 

 

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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  

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