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Whodunnit boosts school techno day

PUBLISHED: 08:38 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 July 2010

Hard at work crime solving!

Hard at work crime solving!

THE discovery of a body at a Norfolk school saw students in a race against time to discover the callous murderer - not once but three times over.

It was like a scene out of an Agatha Christie novel.

THE discovery of a body at a Norfolk school saw students in a race against time to discover the callous murderer - not once but three times over.

It was like a scene out of an Agatha Christie novel. But happily, the untimely demise of Wymondham College principal Mervyn Roffe on Tuesday was a case of fiction not fact.

And Norfolk's scenes of crimes team played a leading role in helping groups of students discover who was guilty of the dastardly deed.

The whodunit was one of the key elements of a technology day at the school, designed to encourage Year 8 pupils to explore the practical elements of technology-driven occupations and to experience a more hands-on approach.

It resulted in some truly gruesome moments as the teenagers were shown the supposed stomach contents of the murder victim, as well as fibres, fingerprints and footprints left at the scene as they investigated the science involved in analysing forensic evidence.

They also looked at how databases can support police investigations and how evidence is gathered.

And there was some hilarity when an enterprising pupil quizzed Mr Roffe at lunchtime to find out who had “killed”' him, and he declined to answer because he was dead!

The pioneering exercise - repeated with different groups of students throughout the day - was captured on video and will be used as a case study by other schools.

Kate Finlay, the school's technology teacher said: “Many of the pupils will have seen TV programmes such as CSI and Waking the Dead where police forensics play a large part in solving crime.

“This has given them a real opportunity to see the local

police force at work, and how the technology they learn in school can lead them to a number of career choices in the future.”

Norfolk police supported the initiative, along with representatives from local business and industry sectors who provided a series of activities for the students to carry out.

Staff from the Robert Carter Academy helped the youngsters look at the costs of a building project, and Alistair Kingsland from Minima Design, Andrew Byrnes from Powertrain Engineering and former pupil Ben Handford of Naked Marketing worked with them on projects in their own specialised field of expertise.

They also baked bread, mass-produced smoothies for sale in school, and made felt toys in a “production line” to get a

better understanding of what it is like to work in an environment where they do not understand

the language, with only

French, German and Spanish spoken.

Miss Finlay added: “It has been

a great opportunity to work with industry and to allow students

to make links with what we

learn at school and what happens in the workplace.”

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