Year 8 Science - Forensic Fibre

On Tuesday 26 February in Science, the Year 8 Loyola students participated in a special forensic fibre analysis activity run by the State ChemCentre. The Scientists at the ChemCentre are currently working on a major project in conjunction with Martin Lopatka (from the Netherlands Forensic Institute), to collect sets of fibres from lots of different fabric types to provide information to help solve crimes. They are particularly interested in looking at clothing of the same type - such as school uniforms - that have been treated differently, for example in terms of different washing patterns and detergents.

Dr Lopatka and Alison Hewitt from ChemCentre visited the class to collect fibres from the student's school uniform shirts and winter jumpers. The sampling consisted of a non-destructive "tape lift" which simply involved the students placing a piece of sticky tape on their school shirt, and their school jumper and peeling the tape off to remove the fibres. These tape lifts have been taken back to the laboratory at the ChemCentre, where they will be analysed and have special miroscopic images taken of the shirt fibres. In the future, the class will be provided with a copy of these images.

The Scientists also addressed the students about the project, and explained how science and maths can help solve crime.

Dr Amanda Webb
Science Teacher