Warwick Valley's AP students create chemistry class mystery play to hook kids on science

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:49

Warwick - In an effort to get elementary school children interested in science, Warwick Valley High School Advanced Placement Chemistry students collaborated to produce a “who done it” mystery for the students in Sanfordville Elementary School’s PIE (Parents as Partners in Education) grades 3/4 program. Led by high school science teacher Dorothy Smith, the chemistry students wrote, directed, designed and performed a colorful dramatization of a murder mystery, “What’s the Scoop?” with an ice cream shop theme and setting. The elementary school students were then invited onto the stage and, led by the high school students, solved the murder themselves through a series of hands-on forensic experiments. The experiments helped students understand how various types of tests are used in forensics, the application of scientific knowledge to criminal investigations, and included matching blood samples, matching hair samples, saliva testing, fingerprinting, sugar content and chromatography. The young detectives’ conclusions were based on clues threaded throughout the performance and concrete evidence planted on the set. The play included a hand-designed set, costumes, projections, video, and live music performed by student Sarah Angle. The PIE students enjoyed the play that was “full of mischief and mystery.” Said one young student: “I think it’s really cool how you had us solve the mystery by using chemistry.” Another noted: “The best part was that it was interactive and that we got to solve the crime.”