Science fair fuses forensics, fun for community, students

By Alexandria Zamecnik

 

Body outlines, fingerprints and blood spatter were displayed proudly outside of Upham Hall during Saturday’s Wisconsin Science Festival at UW-Whitewater.

The third annual Wisconsin Science Festival is a statewide initiative to display the wonder of science while simultaneously inspiring people of all ages. In the entire University of Wisconsin System, only six campuses participated.

Student Outreach coordinators set up two different paths.  One path dedicated to teaching children to expand their curiosity, and one for adults and students.

The track devoted to children had many different activities. Kids were able to press a finger into a pad of ink and then transfer the ink to a balloon that then magnified the print. The children then moved on to analyzing fabric prints and blood spatter.

Thompson
Thompson

At the “murder scene,” three pieces of evidence lay around it: a shoe pattern, a piece of fiber and a fingerprint.

Senior Emily Thompson, a student Science Outreach Coordinator, wanted to make the science festival as kid-friendly as possible.

“We really just want to spread the word about science. Younger kids deserve to know how great it is,” Thompson said.

Students were able to figure out the height from which blood fell from, the chromatography, or method of separating chemicals from a mixture, of a pen and blood typing.

Eagon
Eagon

Freshman Andrew Eagon volunteered his time for four weeks to ensure the fair went smoothly.

He spent most of his time volunteering at the blood spatter table. Although the day didn’t go quite as expected, he kept a positive attitude.

Alisa Hass, a Science Outreach coordinator for the College of Letters and Sciences, and her science outreach team wanted to choose a topic that adults and children would enjoy.

“We started a few months ago, actually deciding what we want to do. It started out of UW- Madison Institute for Discovery, and they were trying to branch out to other locations statewide,” Hass said. “We figured forensics would be a good way to kick off this event for the first year on campus.”

The Science Outreach Program will host a Science Discovery Day from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m on Oct. 25 in Upham Hall.