First, I read D. B. Beres and Anna Prokos's Crime Scene: True-Life Forensic Files #1: Dusting and DNA. Then, I read a Dig Magazine issue from October 2008 that was all about CSI: Archeology. Finally, I did a whole a bunch of experiments with the Smithsonian Crime Lab Investigations kit to solve fake cases.
I already knew that everyone has different and unique fingerprints, and that everybody has their own unique genetic code called DNA in their blood. And, I also knew that they send the fingerprints to someone to figure out who they belong to, but I didn't know who.
Now, I know that they send them to forensic scientists.
I also learned that they also use a process called chromatography, a laboratory technique for separating chemical mixtures such as ink.
With the Crime Lab Kit, my dad and I did an Ink Analysis Experiment where we cut little strips of paper, put ink-like stuff on it, and hanged them from a small plastic bar over a clear, plastic container that had a tinsy bit of water in it. Then, we waited a bit and these colors worked their way up the strip and we matched them to the ones in the case, but they didn't match up. So, we knew that the girl was lying in the case, and that she had printed up extra raffle tickets.
I learned one thing from the CSI: Archeology magazine, and that is that forensic scientists can match up pollen samples from the crime scene to the suspect's car, shoes, or weapons to see if he or she did the crime.
After reading the Crime Scene book, I discovered that I might be a good forensic scientist. At the end of the book, there is a quiz called, "Do You Have What It Takes?" To be the best forensic scientist you need to: be good at working on a team; be good with handling blood, be good at following directions; you need to be organized; and you need to be comfortable speaking in public.
I found out that I would probably be a good forensic scientist even though I'm not good at following directions!