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At the heart of forensic science is the use of scientific methods to investigate activities or events that are under criminal investigation. One could say that the first instance of this can be dated back as far as 275BC, when Archimedes investigated the crown of King Hiero using his own Archimedes’ Principle, and discovered that the crown had been mixed with silver rather than being made of pure gold. This story is old, but since then forensics has evolved massively, and the development of forensic science has been especially rapid over the last few decades.

In 1892 the first fingerprint bureau was established to use fingerprinting for recording the prints of individuals, and in the same year was used to help sentence a mother who murdered her own sons. Since then fingerprinting became more common in forensics. Moving below the skin, the Uhlenhuth test was develop in 1901 to distinguish between animal and human blood, and the use of forensic DNA analysis in 1984 has pushed forensic science on leaps and bounds in recent years.

Through studying fingerprints, ballistics, documents, and even hair fibres, forensic science is not only educational, but also incredibly useful in the real world for solving crimes and catching criminals. Hospital Heist provides a way to get students engaged with forensic science, allowing them to spend a day as a forensic scientist investigating a crime. Through this they can develop their skills analysing fibres, test materials for residue, as well as search and lift fingerprints from items.