Archive for Monday, June 23, 2008

Students investigate fake crimes at KU’s Natural History Museum

KU's Natural History Museum turns into a crime lab today. 6News reporter Lindsey Slater explains the mystery kids in a summer day camp had to solve.

June 23, 2008


A crime has taken place in Dyche Hall on Kansas University's campus.

Okay, not really, but some summer campers put their newly learned forensic skills to the test to solve the case of the missing Madagascar hissing cockroach.

"It's about who was in the Bug Town area and was taking the cockroaches to Madagascar, so that was Janet's fault," said Ber'Shawn LeFlore, an 8 year old Lawrence resident.

The other campers agreed Janet is the culprit.

The kids learned forensics to figure out who took the cockroaches and they had to learn a lot of ways to solve the mystery.

"Looking at fingerprints, how to collect fingerprints from the scene of a crime, taking a look at forensic dentistry, anthropology, entomology:a whole bunch of different things," said Natural History Museum educator Dawn Kirchner.

And it's a long day's work.

"The hardest thing is trying to figure out, 'Who was it?'" Ber'Shawn said.

Zach Denny, an 11-year-old from Lawrence thought looking "under the microscopes trying to find the piece of hair" was difficult.

And 8-year-old Baldwin resident Samantha Green thought "trying to match the hair and the fingerprints" wasn't just easy detective work.

The science students had a lot of theories on why the cockroaches were targeted.

"They have lots of ideas of why the different suspects might want to have taken the hissing cockroaches, whether they didn't like the cockroaches or they want to set them free," said Kirchner.

These kids see a future in forensics.

"I really like detective stuff," Zach said.

"You get to hunt down people and you get to arrest them and take them to jail," Ber'Shawn said.

Samantha thinks "it'll be fun to solve crimes and mysteries."

All 5 suspects are past or present museum employees.

Forensic Fun is just one of the many summer camps that the Natural History Museum offers.


Haiku_for_You 9 years, 5 months ago

C.S.I. Lawrence:Don't forget sunglasses and"Won't Get Fooled Again".

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