GSI: Girl Scout Investigations

Earning our Detective Badge with Brea Aschenbrenner and Megan Scholz

MediaGIRLS Brea Aschenbrenner and Megan Scholz had a spectacular time at Big Hill Center in Beloit earlier this month.  Both girls earned their Detective badge and figured out who the Cookie Thief was all while learning about finger prints, coding, handwriting analysis, and more!

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Brea and Megan had a chance to interview Dan Roman, a retired crime scene investigator and Co-founder of Camp Hero, who lead the finger printing station.  He taught the girls that each finger print is unique and almost  everyone has finger prints.  Finger prints can left behind just about anywhere and this makes them an important tool for solving crimes.  Fingerprints have special characteristics and can be grouped into different categories including accidental, plain arch, tented arch, loop, plain whorl, and double loop.  Since no two people have ever been found to have the same fingerprints detectives can compare fingerprints to crime scenes and databases and help solve crime.  Brea discovered she had loop finger prints while her mom has whorl finger prints.

After learning about fingerprints, the girls had the opportunity to reveal their whole hand print.  Megan thought it was neat that the carbon powder mixed with metal shavings could reveal whole handprints.  She thought it was even cooler that the magnet with the powder on it worked like a paint brush.

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Megan enjoyed learning how to decode a message.  She thinks secret codes are fun so this activity was a blast.  But after learning that each of the suspects drove a cookie car, the secret message wasn’t very helpful in solving the case.

The girls learned that graphology is the analysis of handwriting and can be used to identify the writer their personality characteristics.  Did you know that if your hand writing slants to the right you tend to be outgoing while left slanters tend to keep more to themselves.  Even the way you dot your i’s and cross your t’s can tell us more about your personality.  If you cross your t’s high you tend to set your goals high and if you dot your i’s high you tend to have an active imagination.  The girls copied a passage about Juliette Low and could see that their handwriting did indeed reveal some personality characteristics.  Brea thought this a fun activity and is looking forward to analyzing the tooth fairy’s handwriting.

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Each girl also had the opportunity to create their very own secret agent identity!  Megan thought that was a lot of fun.  The girls also learned a lot about how to determine if someone was telling the truth or being deceitful.  There was a lot of sketchiness going on and the lesion helped the girls narrow down the Cookie Thief suspect pool.

One of the highlights of the day was putting the girls’ spy skills to the test.  A red yarn “laser” maze was constructed.  Each girl had the opportunity to demonstrate her agility by passing through the maze without touching the yarn.  This was one of Brea’s favorite activities of the day.

The last station involved extracting DNA from strawberries.  Megan thought it was fun mashing the strawberries and seeing the color burst out into the water.  She also thought pouring the strawberry mixture through the strainer was interesting because it came out so smoothly.

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Dish soap was used to break open the strawberry cells and rubbing alcohol was used to precipitate the DNA and a gelatinous stringy mass of strawberry DNA was the result.  After all the squishing and smooshing, the girls were surprised to only see a small amount of DNA.  Brea said that she felt like a forensic scientist!

Both Brea and Megan enjoyed attending the event, using the expensive camera, and interviewing the other girls.  Unfortunately, there was too much background noise to make a good video.  Oh, well, there’s always next time.   We’ll see you there!










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