Jennifer Thomson, Museum Learning Officer, writes about the first of our kids workshops “Museum Detectives” which took place from the 11th – 19th July.
Our first summer holidays workshop for families was Museum Detectives which saw children and their parents follow in the footsteps of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes to try and help solve the mystery of the stolen marble bust!
For those that don’t know, Sherlock Holmes is the creation of Arthur Conan Doyle, who credits former Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh President Joseph Bell as the inspiration for the character. You can find out more here.
After our plucky detectives discovered this link, they set about discovering some of the techniques used by crime scene investigators to solve crimes through a series of fun hands on activities. They learnt about the unique patterns that our fingerprints leave behind and had great fun trying to work out which type of fingerprint we all had!
Our detectives also had a go at dusting and lifting a fingerprint to demonstrate how these vital clues can be collected from a crime scene. Using a ransom note that was left at the scene of the crime, we were able to use chromatography to work out which pen the suspect used to write it.
Everyone enjoyed examining samples of hair and fibre under microscopes and were amazed how different things look under a lens! Finally we made some invisible ink using a bicarbonate of soda and water solution and wrote notes that were then revealed using grape concentrate.
Our second summer workshop Marvellous Molars & Other Teeth! begins on Tuesday 25th July and will explore what it was like to go to the dentist in times gone by.
We’ll find out why animals have different types of teeth to suit what they eat, learn what toothpaste used to be made from, (clue: it was a bit salty!) and have a go at making our own. There will also be a chance to make a plaster cast of your teeth to take home and handle some objects from the museum’s dental collection. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tickets are available from here, and are priced at £4 per child.
Featured image credit – Joao Silas – Unsplash