Dagenham school makes its own CSI film, all in the name of science

Collecting evidence

Collecting evidence - Credit: Archant

One dead body, eight suspects and a team of forensic scientists - that was the scene at All Saints School earlier this month.

But it was all thankfully a game, with the Dagenham school taking inspiration from TV shows such as CSI: Miami to put on its own crime scene investigation.

The trick was to engage year eight pupils in the sciences by getting down to the gritty details of forensic analysis.

The head of year eight volunteered to play dead, and investigations went on all day long to eliminate each suspect one by one to reveal the true culprit.

Science teacher Emily Wilgoss, explained why she decided to introduce the idea.

“Children, especially 13-year-olds, seem to have a natural affinity for gory stories and tasks. We have an after school science club and the sign-up rate goes through the roof on dissection days! We knew that if we could introduce something that coupled gruesomeness with learning we would be on to a winner; the moment we mentioned a ‘CSI Day’ we had their undivided attention,” she said.

In order to stick to the TV shows’ format, they also enlisted the help of a year 11 student to direct and produce a film.

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The scene was set and the film opens with the head lying ‘dead’ on the floor, and then goes on to capture the team’s progress and their eventual discovery of the killer.

On a student feedback sheet, one pupil said: “It was so cool to do the experiments and tests like real investigators do. Everyone combined forces and we figured out who the murderer was, which felt really rewarding after working hard on it all day. I loved being a forensic scientist for the day.”