Forensic science kits sent to pupils across Dundee to use at home

THE UNIVERSITY of Dundee is distributing free chemistry kits to offer secondary school pupils an insight into life as a forensic scientist.

The ‘Science At Home’ boxes contain everything pupils need to carry out basic experiments and 200 of them have been delivered to schools across Dundee.

The resource boxes were put together by the University’s Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) in collaboration with Dundee Science Centre.

These kits are the first ones that have been created for S1-S3 pupils and they aim to re-engage pupils who are not regularly attending chemistry classes.

Clara Morriss, Jak Derrick-Ross, Victoria Marland, Heather Doran outside the LRCFS building holding one of the science kits
Clara Morriss, Jak Derrick-Ross, Victoria Marland and Heather Doran outside the LRCFS building

Heather Doran, Public Engagement Manager for LRCFS at the University of Dundee, said: “The boxes allow participants to learn techniques used by forensic scientists, through hands-on experiments that can be carried out at home.

“The experiments show how chemistry is applied in a real-life setting, rather than an abstract classroom activity.

“[They] highlight the different career paths that are available through science and we know teachers are really interested in sharing these examples with pupils.”

Funding for the project came from the Royal Society of Chemistry, following a successful application submitted by LRCFS.

Ahead of the delivery of the kits, members of the LRCFS team led classroom sessions at Baldragon Academy and Grove Academy based on the activities contained within them.

The team trained teachers to deliver these sessions at Morgan Academy, Harris Academy, St Pauls RC Academy, High School of Dundee, and St John’s RC Academy in Perth.

PhD student Victoria Marland, who devised this project, said, “Using my background in forensic drug testing, I wanted to create an interesting activity that demonstrated how important chemistry is in Forensic Science.

“Most importantly I wanted to create something to show that chemistry can be fun.”