Forensic Analysis is just one of many career paths that are opened up with good GCSEs and A Levels in Science. This was one of the reasons why the ForensicFun organisation visited pupils in Year 9 and Year 10 at Braeside on Tuesday 28 June. Armed with evidence from ballistics, medical reports, fingerprints, and testimony, pupils were encouraged to challenge The Warren Commission produced in the wake of the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963.
A circus of activities was set up to enable pupils to work independently and to consider a range of evidence. This included a 3D view of the motorcade that has been developed from photographic images of Dealy Plaza in Texas illustrating the supposed trajectory of three bullets with a special focus on the infamous “magic bullet”. There was a board game to play that enabled pupils to construct a detailed timeline from the moments after the assassination and from the different perspectives of Lee Harvey Oswald (the convicted man) and Officer Tippitt, the other victim who was shot later that afternoon.
The event encouraged critical thinking about evidence and the ‘tin hat’ label given to conspiracy theories. Unusually for pupils, the aim of the event was to leave them with more questions than answers – a rare opportunity to look at how science was used at crime scenes nearly sixty years ago and to see how technology and the worldwide web has changed the face of media coverage, making a conspiracy theory less likely to take root in the criminal investigations today.