GIRLS Club learns science of CSI
By Liz Dadson


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Amelia Arciszewski (L), 9, of Kincardine, Katrina Jaszkul, 11, of Inverhuron, Maddy Edey, 9, of Kincardine, and Amber Splettstoesser, 10, of Ripley, get ready to do some investigating as they learn about the science behind Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs), at the Girls In Real Life Science (GIRLS) Club Monday morning

Twenty-two girls in Grades 4-7, put on rubber gloves, took up the magnifying glass and started to investigate the crime scene to find the culprit, at the Girls In Real Life Science (GIRLS) Club event held Monday at the Bruce Power Visitors' Centre.

Led by Louise Jack, an engineer at Bruce Power, and sponsored by the Women in Nuclear (WiN) Bruce, the morning of learning delved into the science behind Crime Scene Investigators (CSIs).

Louise Jack briefs the CSIs before they begin their investigation

The girls were taught how to lift finger prints, determine what ink was used to write a ransom note, and how to be observant when looking at a crime scene.

Later, they were divided into groups and actually had to solve a robbery, using the tools of the trade. They had finger prints of the culprit, a lock of hair, a note, and an empty jewellery box from which to work.

They also had a list of criminals. Using the clues and their newly-found investigative skills, they had to come up with which person they believed committed the crime and should be brought in for questioning.

In setting the scene, Jack told the girls that Lord and Lady Bruce Power had held a party and afterwards, discovered that these robberies had taken place. Each group of girls had to investigate the scene, collect the evidence and deduce whodunit.

The day was to conclude with the arrival of Paula Turner, a female security guard at Bruce Power, who spoke about a "Day in the Life" of her job.

Cheryl Cottrill of WiN Bruce said the most remarkable thing with the GIRLS Science Club is how much the girls' attitude has changed regarding careers in the sciences.


Kendra Anstey (L) and Jenny Johnson, both 11, of Kincardine, watch the ink colours change

Bethan Killin, 12, of Kincardine works with the ink on the note to discover some clues

Priya Kalra (L), 11, and Laura Fohkens, 10, both of Kincardine, dust for finger prints

Alexandra Thorne (L) and Amelia
Arciszewski , both  9, of Kincardine investigate their crime scene with help from Carley McGlynn of Bruce Power

Kathleen Parsons (L), 12, Chelsea Starkey, 12, and Taylor Ferguson, 11, all of Port Elgin, watch the changes in colour of the ink as it separates on paper dipped in water

"Three years ago, we did this very same event, the science behind CSI," she said. "At the start, we asked the girls to get into groups and draw a scientist. The pictures were mainly men. This year, we asked them to draw a scientist and the pictures were mostly women. We've come a long way."

Cottrill said there was a waiting list for the CSI event, so it will be offered again in September, with those on the waiting list registered first and then it will be opened to others.

WiN Bruce is also hosting a GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math and Science) Camp at the Bruce Visitors' Centre July 18-22.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011