Welcome to the MSPMLC Learning Center's
Virtual Boot Camp
STEM Challenge #5:
Detectives investigating a crime must try to locate and interview witnesses in order to learn more about what happened and why. But they must consider (take into account) a person’s ability to accurately remember what they observed.
In Challenges 2 and 3 you used your observation skills to search for and identify evidence. Now, you are going to test a witness’s ability to remember and accurately recall what they observe from a scenario.
You will need:
a photo (use the ones below or your own)
a witness or witnesses
Procedure: Allow your witnesses to view the photo for 20 to 30 seconds and then take it away. They are not allowed to discuss the photo. Then, take each witness separately and ask them to recall what they saw. See how many things they can remember.
Try this too: Using toys or other items (ask before using) set up a scene on a table or floor. Have your witnesses walk around the scene, without touching anything! Walk them through quickly; only give them 20-30 seconds. Cover over the scene and then take each witness separately to ask them what they remember.
At the end, share your results with us! Did the witness recall many of the details correctly? Did they recall things that were not actually present? How do you think a witnesses recollection would effect the identification of critical elements of the crime scene? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you did!