By Rachel Mortimer | Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2017
In 2017, we have trialled a new Forensic Science unit and some activities were based on student interest.
One Year 10 boy asked if we could look at decomposition so two classes set up experiments comparing rates of decomposition of some dogfish found in the Science freezer and some frozen chickens bought from the supermarket. The students chose the conditions to 'bury' them and some were wrapped, some were put in a 'water coffin' (definitely the smelliest option- apologies for that smell!) and a control was to leave on the ground. A frame was built to contain the corpses on the ground but within one night, the chicken had mysteriously disappeared. We left them there for about 6 weeks and learned a lot about what decomposes first and what conditions seemed to increase the rate of decomposition. We also learned to use 'x marks the spot' so that we didn't have to dig aimlessly to find our corpses. The students also watched clips about how this is done in real life with body farms as well as some work on forensic entomology.