SciGirls 210: Super Sleuths

A crime has been committed and it’s up to you to solve it. The mask for this camp
is missing.>>Urgent
that we need to find it. You’re going to be doing
the testing on this evidence. Careful, careful, careful, we
need to preserve the evidence. It’s crunch time and we don’t
even know if we can find
the mask. SciGirls! (Izzie)
Major funding for “SciGirls” is provided by the National Science
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and research across all fields
of science and engineering. The National
Science Foundation– where discoveries begin! (woman) Additional funding
provided by L’Oreal USA. For girls in science…
you can learn more at And by PPG Industries
Foundation– committed to bringing positive
impact to our communities. (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
We need you (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
Come on! When I need help,
and I’ve got a question there’s a place
I go for inspiration Gotta get to the Web, check
the girls’ investigation What girls? (Izzie)
SciGirls! Whoo! (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
I need you! (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
Come on! You’ve gotta log on, post, upload,
pitch in! Yeah! Wanna get inside a world
that’s fascinating? The time is right ’cause
SciGirls are waiting, (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
We need you! (girls)
S-C-I-G-I-R-L-S (Izzie)
SciGirls!! What are we seeing again? It’s a “SciGirls” mystery
about a mask that’s been stolen. Did you say mask?
I hate masks! Evil lurks behind masks, ask any raccoon you meet. Masks are scary. O…kay, well, I hope so, I love
scary movies. Don’t you? Uh, yeah sure,
who doesn’t love… Ahaaa! Turn on the lights! For the love of Cheezy Poofs,
turn on the lights! I was just turning out the light
so we could see better. Oh wait a sec, Jake, you’re really
totally scared of masks? A little bit, just a little tiny
bit deathly afraid of masks, and scary movies,
and scary mask movies? Forget about it! Boo! Aaaaah!! [click!]
This is gonna be fun! [orchestra plays
in minor tones] [click] [cicadas chirp] Where are we right now? There’s like nothin’
but trees out here though. I know,
we’re so far out. Emi, Kaelyn and I are
on our way to a forensics camp. My name is Christina and the
thing I love about science is that it’s found everywhere
around us. What’s in the envelope guys? Let’s open it. Let’s check it out. A letter! Okay, we have a letter. “Dear SciGirls,
welcome to your experience at Camp Raven,
a forensic camp. A crime has been
committed at camp, and
it’s up to you to solve it. The letter said that we are
going to help solve a crime that has been committed,
so we’ll be able to meet with some specialists
in the field and solve it. My name’s Emi and my favorite
thing about forensic science is the whole mystery of it. Emi, where
are we going right now? We’re going
to go to
Camp Raven. Ooo! And we’re gonna
solve a crime. Really? Crime fighters, whoo! Oh, I’m pumped,
this is going to be fun. You ready to get
your detective on? My name is Kaelyn and what I
love about forensic science is that looking
at the small things, you can figure out
who committed the crime and what happened
at the crime scene. We’re going
to solve this. Lay down the law! (Christina)
We will be given more details
upon our arrival, so I’m just really excited
to hear more about it, ’cause right now, we’re
kind of left out in the dark. We’ll be detectives! Whoo! Watch for the arrows!
They’re clues for the “Pick’M, Stick’M”
game on the website. (Emi)
When I pulled up to the cabin,
there was crime scene tape around the perimeter
of the cabin. (Kaelyn)
And I’m actually nervous
and anxious to find out what happened with the crime,
and I’m really hoping that everybody’s okay,
that nobody got hurt. (SciGirls) Hi! Hi there,
I’m Lindsey. I’m Emi. (Kaelyn) Lindsey Garfield is a
lead crime scene investigator and she’s going to be helping us
figure out this crime. We’re going to
go into the cabin, we’re
going to process the scene, we’re going to go through how
to collect evidence, document, photograph, sketch,
and we’re going to do that after we have our briefing. When we start with a briefing,
we start to learn about what happened here
and what we’re going to do to help solve the crime. The briefing information
is this: the mask
for this camp is missing. This information’s coming to me
from the camp director, Maxine. It was last seen
by the groundskeeper, Jeb, at 10:00 last night,
and the arts and crafts director opened the cabin back up at 7:00
this morning, and it’s gone. The case is open,
the mask is missing. The mask is called
“The Queen of the Forest” mask, created by Cornelia Raven,
she’s a famous artist, and she built the mask in 1940. And I have a picture of it,
it’s kind of white with silver, it’s got some glitter on it, it
has some diamonds and gemstones
on it. That’s pretty. They use this mask every year
at their masquerade ball. The master of ceremonies
at this masquerade ball wears this mask,
so this ball can’t happen until the mask is found. (Kaelyn)
The mask that was stolen
was actually really important. They use it every year for this
masquerade ball. It happens in the next few days,
so if we don’t find it, it’s going to be breaking
tradition, so it’s urgent
that we need to find it. So I’m going to show you
some photos that the camp director
gave to me today. This is a photo
of all of the people that were on site
during the time in question. These are all of our suspects. We have 10 suspects and those
suspects are the camp staff, which include the cook, the
camp director, some counselors, the groundskeeper
and the heir to the camp, Ray. Anybody has the chance
to come into this cabin, so we need to do what we can to find the evidence
to recover the mask. When we first
got up to the door, the first thing Lindsey did was check the door to see
if there was forced entry. There’s no
chipped paint on the door, there’s no marks on the door. Because there’s no forced entry, we’re not going to
fingerprint this door. (Kaelyn)
When we saw that there’s
no sign of a break-in, we assumed immediately
that the person that committed this crime most likely
had a key to the cabin. Alright, let’s go in and we’ll
start to do the walk-through and process the
scene, okay? Alright. Okay. (Christina)
The mood in the room, when we
first walked in, was serious. It was just really exciting to
be doing something so different from anything
we’ve ever experienced. (Lindsey)
This is the scene of the crime. (SciGirls) There’s paint
on the floor, and footprints,
and there’s glitter over here. (Lindsey) The reason that we’re
looking at this cabin for evidence is due to a
scientific principle called Locard’s Exchange
Principle. It simply means that when
2 things come in contact
with each other, they transfer part of each other
onto the other. Whenever you touch something,
you always leave a trace behind, and that thing leaves
a trace on you. We’re going to walk
around the room, take
a very careful look. There’s
a certain path we have to take
as we walk around the room, so we don’t mess
any of the evidence up. You’ve got spilled paint
you guys noticed before, there’s also
shoe prints here. (Christina)
They must have knocked it over as they were
hurrying out of
the room. It looks that way. And there’s also a notebook
that has a page ripped out. (Lindsey)
Yes, the page
is ripped out of the notebook, it’s important to note
how things are in the original state
you find them in. So now we have two things
missing from the cabin–
the note and the mask. Lindsey shows us to collect anything that might be relevant
in the crime. She said that anything that
might have been disturbed or like, shouldn’t normally
be there is something we should collect. (Lindsey)
This is the case
where the mask was kept. And you’re going to want
to note the door being open
almost all the way, (Emi)
It looks like
there’s more glitter inside. We did
a walkthrough; Christina’s job
was taking pictures of everything she saw
and processing the crime. My job was taking notes
of everything I found. Emi’s job was to take
measurements of the crime scene, and make sure
that we could make a floor plan. After documenting the evidence
that we saw, we started collecting and numbering
the evidence that we found. The glitter on the floor
in front of the door
is item number one. (Emi) We put up cards to note
where all the evidence was. Then we took pictures of each
piece of evidence with its card. (Lindsey) Collecting glitter,
because it’s small, best thing to pick it up with. Lindsey showed us different ways
to collect evidence, like a really unique
and cool way that she taught us was to collect glitter from the
floor by using a sticky note and sticking it
actually on the glitter, and then folding it over itself
then packaging up the evidence. I’m gonna have you guys place
the rest of the tents and we’ll collect
that evidence together. (Christina)
Number 2 is the notebook paper. Number 3 would be
the smaller footprints. We collected the notebook
on the desk. We actually cut out the
footprints and the paint on the paper on the floor. And we also collected
3 samples of glitter. There was some on the floor, there was some in the front
of the mask case on the table, and actually some
inside the mask case. When we put our evidence
into the paper bags, we had to make sure that they
were completely sealed so nobody could tamper
with them. (Lindsey)
This is the debriefing, okay? This is something you do
after every crime scene. (Emi)
We just kind of went over
what we had seen and talked about
what we’re going to do next. You’re going to
be doing some of the
testing on this evidence. Alright! Alright, sounds good.
Sounds good, let’s go. (Emi)
Today we’re going to my house and we’re making
an evidence board to have a visual
on the suspects. So we need our
camp director, Maxine. The staff was, is now narrowed
down to 5 instead of 10. Since the door was left intact, the perpetrator
obviously used a key, and we’re going to mainly focus
on those suspects. Yeah, you will go
right here. Our suspects that we’ve
eliminated down to now are Jeb, our groundskeeper, Ray, who is the great grandson
of Miss Cornelia, Luna, the arts
and crafts director, Maxine the camp director, and Blanche,
the aquatics director. Number 5, the footprint
on the floor. On the left side of the board,
we have the five suspects, and then on top of the board,
we have the evidence that we collected at the scene. (Emi)
Lindsey dropped off a huge box
of evidence, and inside the box was shoes from suspects,
handwriting samples, and interviews
from every one of them saying where they had
been that night. Let’s watch this, guys. (Maxine)
Where was I the night
the mask was taken? Well, I had invited
some other camp directors from camps
in the adjoining area. We sat around the campfire, we, and we were there
until the fire died out. Well, what did they do after
the fire died out though? They were probably there late
because they’re adults,
they can stay out pretty late. (Jeb)
Well, I was in the dining hall playing a late night game
of chess with the camp cook. (Blanche)
I spent all day outside
in the sun in my canoe and got a really bad case
of heat exhaustion and went to bed early
around 8:00 p.m. (Ray)
I dropped by for a dinner
meeting with the camp director. I was off site by 7:00 p.m.,
I had a polo tournament to attend
at a colleague’s estate. (Luna)
I was down at the dock
stargazing with the other counselors, and then it got cloudy around 1:00
a.m. and we called it a night. (Kaelyn)
What did you guys notice that
was like, fishy or sketchy? We really can’t exclude
or like, throw anyone out yet, because there’s this
huge timeframe there from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.,
and any of these people could still have
committed the crime. After watching the alibi videos, we looked
at the handwriting sample we found at the crime scene
and we compared it to the handwriting samples from the
5 staff members who had keys. (Christina)
These 3 handwritings seem the
most similar to our notebook. (Kaelyn)
What I can conclude
from the test is that Blanche’s,
Maxine’s, and Luna’s handwriting all look similar, but we can’t rule out the writer of the note
could have been writing in a different style of
handwriting than its actual handwriting. The next thing we did
after handwriting was start analyzing
the shoe prints and shoes. Did you guys notice
that there’s little owls, it looks like,
in the shoe prints? I did not. Oh yeah. I did not see that, so maybe we
should use both, ’cause you can see
the owl prints better here. Should we do that
with the girls’ shoes? Yeah, sure. Ah, oh my gosh. Oh my gosh, Look at the owls guys!
Look at the owls! (Christina) We were really
excited when the owl prints on Luna’s
shoes looked very similar to the owls
in the shoe prints. The next shoe we evaluated was
Maxine’s. They’re the same shoes! They’re the same sandal size!
Oh my gosh. And this shoe has silver glitter
on it. Silver glitter. Careful, careful, careful, we
need to preserve the evidence. We were shocked at the discovery
that she had the same sandals, and the we actually found silver
glitter on Maxine’s shoes. Same shoes again.
Same shoe size. The next shoe that we
looked at was Blanche’s and her shoes were also the same exact shoes as Maxine’s
and Luna’s. Let’s open up Ray’s shoes. Whoa, these are huge!
These are huge shoes. Do you think
this matches up
with the footprints? To me, I don’t
think this would
work guys, and
there’s no owls. Okay, we just have
Jeb’s shoes next. Let’s be careful. Owl prints
on the bottom
guys? No. Okay, I think
that we can
eliminate this. So these are all going
to the lab. After we did the shoe and
handwriting analysis, we went to the evidence board and we starting linking
the suspects to the evidence that we found
at the crime scene. The suspects that had the most
check marks in their row would be Maxine, Blanche,
and Luna, because they all had similar
handwriting to the handwriting on the
notebook, and they also had the tread that was in the paint
on the bottom of their shoes. We can’t rule
anyone out right now, but we do have our suspicions
on who the perpetrator is. I think we can really fill
this out once we get back
from the lab with results. We’re at Hamline University and we are going to go into the lab
and meet Sarah. Hi. Hi Sarah. Hi girls. (Sarah)
It looks like you brought
a lot of evidence to examine. Yeah, we got it all. (Christina) Sarah is
a forensic scientist who analyzes
trace evidence. You girls want to
get on lab coats, so we can start doing some science? Yeah, that’s great! (Kaelyn)
In the lab today
we’re going to be analyzing ink, glitter and shoe prints. (Christina)
We found some silver glitter
in the mask case, so that would be
our known glitter. So the known would be like
the glitter in the case, we know that’s from the mask. Question would be
the glitter from Maxine’s shoe. We are looking at the glitter
sample from Maxine’s shoe. When we looked at the glitter
under the scope, she looked at things like shape
and color. I never thought that glitter
had that much detail. It was really unique
and cool to find out that oh, glitter isn’t just glitter,
it actually has a lot of different
characteristics to it. It looks like the shape
of a hexagon, guys. The edges of the glitter looks
like they’re raised. As we were looking at the
glitter, we noticed more things about it, like how they had ridges
and indents in it, and how there seemed to be
different layers there, also how it wasn’t completely
smooth over the layered glitter. It looked like there was pores
in the glitter. Let’s put the
question sample away and let’s get
the known sample out, and let’s just see if we can
make the same observations. Cool. This one looks very similar to the glitter pieces from
Maxine’s shoe. It also has that bent up
shape to it. It also does have the same
6 sides. Yes, the 2 glitter samples
that we analyzed, had a lot
of similarities, So based on your observation,
what are you girls thinking about the glitter
from Maxine’s shoe and this known glitter
from the mask? (Kaelyn) I think they’re
very similar. (Emi) Even have some of the
manufacturing defects in common with each other. So do you think that the glitter
from Maxine’s shoe could have come
from the mask? Definitely, yeah. Based on the fact that the glitter from Maxine’s shoes
had a lot of characteristics that the glitter
from the mask case had, we determined that Maxine
was in that room, and she could
possibly have stolen the mask. Our next testing was
going to be on the pens. Sarah ran tests on the ink
that we found from the notebook at the scene of the crime,
and our job was to actually run the same test and see if there
was any similarities there. What we’ll want to do is just look at the chromatography
results from the 3 pens and we’ll
compare it
to the note. Okay. (Kaelyn) The pens that we tested
were pens from Blanche,
Maxine, and Luna. The reason that we tested these
pens only is because their handwriting
is the most similar
that we found on the notebook. One dot for each pen,
3 dots total. (Kaelyn)
We used a wick, and the pens
that we collected from the suspects, we did small
dots of each sample of the pen, and then we actually put the
wick with the pen ink in water, and we watched the colors
separate, and we compared it to the same
test that Sarah had done with ink from the crime scene. On both Luna’s and the note,
they start off like a bluish-purple color,
and then it ends yellow. It looked like Luna’s pen
wrote the note. It doesn’t mean
that 2 people didn’t
switch pens. Yeah. After we conducted this test,
we were able to conclude that the ink from Luna’s pen
actually wrote the note. Can you imagine Luna
taking the mask? (Emi)
So Luna walked
into the cabin, she goes straight to the notebook,
and starts writing down the information she needs
to maybe sell the mask. (Jake)
Not scary at all, not scared
of masks, not scared. Da-ha! There’s a hand
in my popcorn. For the love of Cheezy Poofs,
there’s a hand! It’s yours… The hand is yours, ha-ha,
nothin’ to be scared of here. Really, because it is my hand, [in deeper voice]
but I can’t control it. It’s a zombie hand. It has a mind of its own, and it must have popcorn! Aaaaaah! [laughs] You’re so easy! (Christina) She was the one
to realize it was gone,
so that’s a good cover. (Kaelyn)
When we started working
with shoe prints, we started with each
individual shoe print and we coated it with an ink
and then pressed down to make an impression, then copied them
onto a transparency sheet so we could actually
lay them over the prints that we collected from the scene
and really analyze them. So let’s try with this impression, Maxine’s shoe. (Emi)
It doesn’t look like
this one corresponds. It looks like this one’s
moved over a little bit more. (Sarah)
What I’m seeing
in this question impression is a little bit
of smearing. Smudge. That could maybe make
the shoe move a little bit. Left when they
were walking. So let’s overlay again,
could that maybe account for that slight difference that
you’re seeing in placement? (Kaelyn) Definitely, if it went
this way, then everything
would align. This one lines up
pretty well. Yeah, this one lines up better. Especially because
of the smudging. (Emi)
Because the paper was clear,
you really could analyze the differences
and similarities. (Christina)
I don’t think
that Blanche’s is
a correct fit. So we could
Blanche’s. Okay. Yeah. (Emi)
This is Luna’s shoe, this one
doesn’t quite line up. I don’t think Luna’s… I think Maxine’s is the better, That’s just one more piece of evidence is against Maxine.
Yeah. But I don’t know
at this point if we can
really say Maxine took the mask. No, I don’t think so. Yeah, we can’t say that yet. We concluded that Maxine’s
shoe prints were the closest, that were actually found
at the crime scene. I could almost kind of see
Maxine doing it. Sneaking into the cabin,
writing the letter. She probably was in a rush,
so as she rips out the paper;
the green paint spilled. And stealing the mask
and leaving. She might be a little upset because the heir
to the camp itself is Ray and not her and she’s probably the one
who does most of the things. (Christina)
She’s the one in charge;
Ray just walks around, he looks good,
that’s all he does while
she’s doing all the work. Our final suspects
at the end of the day were actually Luna and Maxine. (Sarah)
You put a lot of the pieces
of the puzzle together, but we’re still not sure
who committed this crime. So there’s one last piece
of evidence, the torn note. You can never tear a piece
of paper the same way twice, so you if you can
find the individual that has this torn piece of paper
and physically match it back, you’ll have your suspect. If we do find
that notebook paper, I think that’s going to be the prime evidence that will
lead us to the perpetrator. Today is actually the day
of the masquerade ball. (Emi)
It’s really crunch time
and we’re nervous. Girls are arriving all dressed
up, decorations are going up, everyone’s getting ready
for this ball and we don’t even know
if we can find the mask. (Kaelyn)
Our first order of business
is to find the missing part of the paper
from the notebook that we found
at the crime scene. The camp gave us permission to search the offices
of Maxine and Luna. This is Maxine’s office. Do you see
anything suspicious? (Kaelyn)
We walk into Maxine’s office
and one of the first things we notice
is a list of things to do. [gasps]
What did you guys see? I thought I saw a piece
of paper, notebook paper. (Kaelyn)
Christina went and flipped
through the pages, then she noticed
some writing in a different
color page, ’cause it was basically just all graph paper
in that stack of paper. Here guys. Oh my gosh, it’s there! Oh my gosh, it’s there! Oh my gosh. Let’s get the notebook
to compare it, guys. Oh my gosh,
this is crazy. It’s here. Okay…. ripped out. Look, this is exactly the same,
and then it says August, and leaves off at July,
the dates. And then the lines match up. And the holes match up
over here. That’s crazy guys. After that, we found a piece
of paper in Maxine’s laptop. Play this video. Let’s watch guys. Congratulations!
You found me out. This is camp director
Maxine, and yes, I did take the Queen
of the Forest mask. She took it! I know! And you’ll find it
in its box in my office. So go ahead, get the mask, go to the party,
and have a great time! It’s in the box.
It’s in the box? In her office. Oh my gosh, that is so pretty! So beautiful, oh gosh! I can’t believe we found
the mask. We found it! I know! (Christina)
Up to this point, all we had
seen was a picture of the mask, but opening up that box
and seeing the mask, it was a moment of pure bliss. 1, 2, 3, SciGirls! Maxine committed the crime
and it feels great to know who committed the crime. Since Luna does work
in the craft room, she
could have left her pen there. When Maxine was in there she was
hurrying, she picked up the first pen she saw
and started writing the note. That makes a lot of sense too. It just kinda gave us
a sense of accomplishment and just really brought
this whole experience together. The ball’s starting soon guys,
let’s get this mask to the ball. [loud cheering] (Emi)
As soon as we walked
in the door, everyone smiled and stated cheering, they were
so happy to get the mask back, and carry on with the tradition. It just made this whole
experience complete. Behold the Queen of the Forest! [applause & cheers] (Kaelyn)
Working with 2
of my great friends has been a great experience. It’s one of my favorite things
to do, hang out with them and then forensics, which is
like a great match together. (Christine)
I’m so proud
that we found the mask and that the tradition
of Camp Raven can go on. (Emi)
From this experience, I’ve
gotten to learn a whole lot more about the forensic science
field, and it was super great getting to work
with Kaelyn and Christina. And I think it really brought us
even closer together. (all)
♪ We found the mask, mask,
we found the mask, mask. ♪ [all cheer] Got your clues? Head on
over to the Web and play “Pick’M, Stick’M”
at I knew it was Maxine
the whole time. See, told you there was
nothin’ to be scared of. Me scared,
what do you… It’s okay Izz, I knew
you’d be scared, so I pretended
to be scared. Aaaaah!
It’s a zombie rodent! Don’t eat me,
don’t eat me, please! It’s Fang. I can see that now. Gonna put ya down now. Not yet. Hey,
I’m Emi. This is Kaelyn, I’m Christina. I kinda just sail for fun. Family baseball game,
kids versus adults. And this is me fishing with my
family on the Mississippi River. Another thing I like
to do is play soccer. You have to see my grandma’s
famous caramel rolls. Caramel rolls! Yes! [drums play] This is the fish I just caught. [loud scream] Toodles poodles! The oysters in the Chesapeake
Bay are dying off. We wanted to go and see if
restored reefs are actually
working. Wow, we get to film underwater
robotics. We modified it,
then we tested it. A blue crab!
[all exclaim happily] Ice and snow, makes it sort of
dangerous. I think there’s a way we can
improve nonslip footwear. It talks about biomimicry,
so it’s life-copying. It could help with traction.
A prototype debut party! Bask in my awesomeness! (Izzie)
Major funding for “SciGirls” is provided by the National Science
Foundation– supporting education
and research across all fields
of science and engineering. The National
Science Foundation– where discoveries begin! (woman) Additional funding
provided by L’Oreal USA. For girls in science…
you can learn more at And by PPG Industries
Foundation– committed to bringing positive
impact to our communities. Hey there! Hi! The SciGirls Website
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