Forensic Science Painting Project • A Forensics Vocabulary Art Project!

Make a messy masterpiece by creating a forensic science painting!

We love making messes at Orlando Science Center — especially in the name of science! Join us by creating a forensic science painting and learning some vocabulary along the way. We’ll be making some common spatter patterns using bright, beautiful colors to create a forensic puzzle work of art.  

 

For more forensic science fun, see if you can crack the case of The Incredible Cookie Caper

Materials:

  • A canvas, piece of cardboard, or paper (butcher paper, paper bags, or anything you have on hand would work fine!) 
  • Tubes of paint
  • Paint brushes 
  • Your hands 
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting messy!  

Directions:

Passive stains made by dripping paint on canvas

Create some passive stains.

Open your paint tube and hold it upside down. Allow it to drip onto your canvas. Try dripping from higher or lower to see some different stains.  

Transfer stains made by smearing paint on canvas

Create some transfer stains. 

Got some paint on your hand? Wipe it onto your canvas! Notice the pattern that you leave behind – not a smooth line or shape but evidence of your fingerprints! 

Projected stains made by flicking paintbrush onto canvas

Create some projected (or impact) stains. 

Dip your brush into your paint and fling it onto your canvas! What do you see? How do the shapes look different than the passive stains?

What other patterns or stains can be made on your forensic science painting? 

  • Void patterns occur when stains are made with an object in the way – kind of like a stencil. 
  • Spines are what forensic analysts would call the spikes coming out of your passive paint stains.  
  • Satellite stains occur when stains jump off of other stains. If you dripped paint on top of a paint puddle, the splashes the impact would make would be satellites.  
  • Flow patterns occur when gravity impacts the stain – this is how acrylic pour painting works.

Don't forget to hang, frame, or gift your finished forensic science painting! 

 

We'd love to see what you created, even if you made a few mess-takes! Submit your progress or final shots to our OSC Science Showcase or tag Orlando Science Center on social media and use hashtag #OSCatHome to share your creations! 

Final product from forensic science painting held in front of wall

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In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Forensic Science Activity for Kids: The Incredible Cookie Caper

Learn how to Use Forensic Science to Crack the Case!

Oh no! A crime has been committed at Orlando Science Center! Our staff were going to share some delicious cookies but they were stolen. Can you help us solve The Incredible Cookie Caper so we can catch the culprit?

 

Together, we are going to crack this case by learning about some of the forensic skills that real life spies and detectives use to figure out the most complex of mysteries.

 

Download our clue card so you can follow along as we go! You can also use it to draw your own card.

 

Cookie Caper Clue Card

 

 

To find out who stole the cookies, we're going to need to examine the clues left behind at the crime scene by using forensic science which means applying scientific methods and processes to solving crimes.

 

Forensic scientists can come from a wealth of backgrounds with specialties ranging from DNA and botany to dentistry and tool marks and so much more. 

We're going to use the following information to solve The Incredible Cookie Caper!

  1. Motives and alibis
    A motive is a reason someone might do something, or a motivator for them to do something. An alibi is a piece of evidence that seeks to prove that person could not have been somewhere when an event took place. In our case, we are looking for reasons that our suspects could not have possibly taken the cookies from the cookie jar.
  2. Fiber analysis
    We've discovered that some fibers were left at the scene of the crime. By analyzing the fibers, we should be able to determine what material they came from and if there are any other clues to help us, like what color the fibers are.
  3. Fingerprinting
    Fingerprint patterns are very unique so when they are left behind and can be collected properly, they're almost like a calling card! See what was left behind on the cookie jar and match the patterns to the suspects.
  4. Footprints
    In investigations detectives might find a footprint in the mud or something similar and could pour plaster into the shoe print and make an impression. Forensic scientists have access to huge databases full of footprints from shoes of all different brands and sizes. Even though people may have the same types of shoes, factors like weight, height, and more could affect their shoe print and be studied to narrow down suspects.

 

So, can you help us figure out who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?

 


This Science Live! stage show was developed by Orlando Science Center staff and premiered in the Spring 2020 traveling exhibit Top Secret: License to Spy which was created and designed by Scitech and produced by Imagine Exhibitions.

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!