Teacher's Cue Card Suspect Sketc

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					Teacher’s Cue Card: Suspect Sketcher
What's TryScience?
For those of you not familiar with TryScience – it's a science web site at www.tryscience.org, featuring rich, interactive learning activities from science centers worldwide. TryScience is a partnership among the New York Hall of Science, the Association of ScienceTechnology Centers and IBM. TryScience is a project that develops unique web content from material provided by more than 500 science centers around the world. On tryscience.org, you will find virtual field trips to science centers, experiments, and other activities that you can do online or really get your hands dirty and do them offline.

Suspect Sketcher Overview
Each Teacher’s Cue Card provides tips and background information to help you prepare your chosen TryScience experiment.

Instructions for the Online Experiment
Contributed by: The “Suspect Sketcher” activity was contributed by Technopolis in Mechelen,
Belgium. More information on this museum (and over 500 science centers worldwide) can be found in the “Field Trip/Find a Science Center” section of the TryScience web site.

Objective: “Suspect Sketcher” will test your memory and provide some insight into how reliable
(or unreliable) eyewitness accounts can be in forensic science.

What You Need:
• At least one computer with “Suspect Sketcher” installed on it (see instructions below). • Consider using a computer lab so each group can work at a computer (ideally 4-6 kids per computer). • If you only have one computer available, be sure to arrange for a projection system so everyone can participate.

How to Install “Suspect Sketcher” onto your computer: If you have not already done so,
download the installer file (TS_sketcher_setup.exe) to your desktop. Double-click the installer file on your desktop to open it, and follow the prompts to install “Suspect Sketcher” onto your computer. Delete the installer file after the installation is complete. 1

Teacher’s Cue Card: Suspect Sketcher
For best results, your screen resolution needs to be set to at least 1024x768. Please Note: The application runs in Internet Explorer version 5 (or higher) only. You will need the Flash (version 5 or higher) and Shockwave (version 8.5) plug-ins to run “Suspect Sketcher.” The first time you run the application, it will prompt you to download these plug-ins if you do not already have them. Be sure you can successfully run “Suspect Sketcher” on your computer before attempting to present it to your class.

To Do and Observe:
1. Click on the “Suspect Sketcher” icon on your desktop to run the application. 2. Follow online instructions. 3. If you're using one computer hooked up to a projection system, be sure to ask for class input with each decision. 4. If participants are working in groups at each computer, be sure to encourage everyone to take a turn controlling the mouse.

What's Going On: Forensic experts use complex programs to help witnesses recreate the image
of a suspect from memory. They have many choices for face shape, eyes, ears, noses, eyebrows, necks and shoulders as well as lines, colors, wrinkles, scars, spectacles and other details. Usually the sketch created will match about 75% of the actual person. Every time you see something new, like a stranger's face, your brain makes a new pathway. Your memory has the ability to retrace that pathway in your brain and retrieve information. Most people remember about seven things at one time. If you hear a list of numbers or words, you'll probably only be able to repeat seven of them. How many of the seven features of your suspect could you remember correctly? With practice and other tricks, like making up rhymes or new words with the first letters of the things on your list, you can improve your memory. For example, the first letters of the colors of a rainbow make up the name ROY G. BIV – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. This type of memory trick is called a "mnemonic device" and by doing this trick, it helps you retrace the right pathways in your brain to retrieve information.

Tips
• Try the activity yourself before conducting it with the class to become familiar with the experiment.

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Teacher’s Cue Card: Suspect Sketcher
• If you just have one computer and a large class, divide the class into teams and have each team shout out the features they want as you click through them. This works well since the suspects come up randomly – teams won't see the same suspect twice. • Have the participants predict how close they think they'll come to sketching the suspect successfully. This is their hypothesis. Revisit the hypothesis at the conclusion of the experiment – does it hold up? • If you have more time, do several suspects. • Encourage kids to really pay attention to the details! • Be sure to ask and compare the differences in any group results. • You can expand the activity offline by having the kids pair up and try to sketch (or describe) one another. Give them 10 seconds to take a good look, then have them turn their backs and give them two minutes to sketch or describe their partner. No cheating! See how well they did. • On the live www.tryscience.org web site, “Suspect Sketcher” is available as one of the activities in the Technopolis Field Trip, found under the “Field Trip” icon (the folded map) at: www.tryscience.org/fieldtrips/fieldtrip_shockwave.html?technopolis_sketch

©1999-2004 TryScience/New York Hall of Science

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