Term 4 Forensic Scientist Project – Alexandre Lacassange

Alexandre Lacassange was a devoted and intelligent man when it came to forensic science – he studied it, taught it and most of all took it to a whole new level. He was born on August 17th, 1843 in Cahors, France and studied at the military school in Strasbourg, where he was recognised as a brilliant medical student after his exam. He was much respected and articulate; one of his cases was even recognised as the cause of the birth of forensic science.  He worked in the military hospital, Vel- De-Grace in Paris and for many years as a professor in forensic medicine at the University of Lyons gaining many chairs.

  When he was a professor he taught many well-known forensic scientists who were just learning the ropes then, including Edmond Lochard who was the founder of the first forensic science laboratory. At the same time he also participated in lots of forensic investigations and was a consultant plus expert in many criminal trials all over his country.  Even though he had a professorship, being a member of Military Health Service he was sent to North Africa to improve his knowledge even further in clinical medicine.

Alexandre was a specialist in the field of toxicology and one of the first to develop a bloodstain pattern analysis, he was even the very first person to study bullet markings and any relations they had to any other weapons. He found out the relation where a bloodstain was found in a crime scene and what the crime might have been and the position of it. To find out the relations between bullets and there weapons, he examined the bullet, and counted and compared the number of lands and grooves.

Alexandre was also involved in founding his own criminology school; it was called Lacassange School of Criminology. Alexandre was influenced by his main rival, Lombroso’s Italian School and the Lacassange School was influent from 1885. It taught both areas of criminology that was current at the time, “bio psychological” that focused on the importance of individual traits and making a difference between honest citizens and criminals, while the other area focused on the social factors. Most schools only focused on one area, so the Lacassange School was much more complex and sophisticated.


Later on in his life, Lacassange became a teacher for forensic medicine in Lyon Faculty of Medicine. Around this time in 1899, he was called to help solve the strange “Affair Gouffé” case (a 19th century murder in France), this instantly made him famous globally mainly because of his modern forensic techniques that definitely shook the whole forensic world, and we still use them today. Soon after this case he wrote the book “Annales d’anthropologie criminelles” (In English this means “Annals of criminal anthropology”) which also was followed by other forensic science books.


Without Alexandre Lacassange’s work in Forensic Science we may still have trouble recognising important characteristics in blood stains, and how we can match a bullet marking to its weapon.

To listen to me read my speech click here: Alexandre Lacassange Speech Enjoy!










By Gracie 🙂

Handwriting Analysis Interview, Featuring Scientist Amelia!

Grace – Interviewer

Amelia – Scientist

Eve – Crew ( Who helped write questions)

Grace – “Hello scientist Amelia, tell us what you do.”

Amelia – “Well I work in a lab and do handwriting analysis”

Grace – “What is a handwriting analysis?

Amelia –  If at a crime scene there is a writing sample we look at the characteristics to find the suspect. I look at letter spacing, are the letters smooth or shaky, the ratio – height, width and size, pen lift and separation, other strokes connecting, from the start and the end are the letters straight, curled or long, how are the letters formed, are written backwards, do they have tails and what is their loop size, are they above, below or on the baseline, what is the pen pressure and the shading like? Is their writing on a slant/angle, is their writing fancy and do they have flourishes and embellishments, and what is the diacritic placement like? All these steps make up a very detailed handwriting analysis.

Grace – That is so interesting! have you solved many crimes using a handwriting analysis?

Amelia – Well we have used lots of analysis’ as evidence, but we don’t base all our evidence around handwriting.

Grace – thanks for coming Scientist Amelia, it was a pleasure having you.

Amelia – It was a pleasure coming!

GTAC Reflection

On The 27th of October I went to GTAC. GTAC stands for Gene Technology Access Centre, it is located in the grounds of University High School in Parkville, Melbourne. Myself and all the other students in year 5/6 went because we were going to learn information about DNA and investigating, which is related to our intergraded topic for this term – forensic science.

When we arrived, a friendly man called Chris welcomed us all and told us what we were going to do today; this involved an investigation activity. He also handed out booklets and told us how to use a stereo and a compound microscope. After the talk, We were greeted by our enthusiastic mentors at the work benches, my group mentor’s name was Reema and she was studying immunology next door at WEHI.

 Stereo Microscope:


Compound Microscope:

At the work benches, we started to look though the stereo microscopes; we had a look at some stuff including a feather, a beetle, foliage and some seeds. All these objects were related to the investigation activity. The stereo microscope could zoom in up to 40x so we got some very good images of the objects. In the activity,  it also involved water; we used the compound microscope to look at it because it could zoom in up to 1000x, but we were only allowed to use it up to 400x. In the water I saw lot’s of things including little bugs and when we looked at a leaf peel I saw the little mouth openings called the “stomata”. They also taught us all the names of the things on the microscopes, they were: the eyepiece lens, the objective lens, the stage, the focus knob and the light source.

One other important thing to mention is the staff; they were terrific. Every one of them was engaged, extremely helpful, and most of all you could just see that they loved science and they loved to share their knowledge on it too. They were also great with working with children and very flexible, also questions were very much appreciated. I would definitely recommend visiting GTAC sometime and meet the wonderful scientists.

Three facts I now have from this experience is:

  • Stereo Microscopes are used for looking a macroscopic specimens.
  • All foliage has tiny mouth openings that are called “stomata”.
  • Compound microscopes can zoom in up to 1000x.

Two Understandings I now have are:

  • The stomata breathes in Carbon Dioxide from the air around us and then breathes out oxygen.
  • The naked eye can only see hardly any detail compared to the stereo and compound microscopes.

One wondering I now have is:

  • Why do you have to put oil on the compound microscope if you want to look at something with 1000x magnification?

Overall I think going to GTAC was a very worth while experience and I learnt a lot about many areas of science!

To visit their website, follow this link: http://www.gtac.edu.au/

By Gracie:)

Newspaper Report

Yesterday on the 17th of October a terrible crime happened in Lee’s classroom at MPPS. Lee’s giraffe tail that he had hung on the interactive whiteboard had been cut open so all the stuffing came out and causing several pieces of fluff to land on the floor. There was also a sentence on the whiteboard reading: “CAN YOU JUST GET YOUR PAPERWORK IN ORDER ALREADY! THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE DISORGANISED!” The sentence was then followed by a sad face. An exact time is still not completely sure but it is estimated that it happened around lunchtime. Lee is the only person involved so far.

Lee has explained that he feels very angry about this incident but also disappointed that someone would break the tail he was going to wear for “Animal Dress Up Day”. He stated that these things happen alot to him so he was saying over and over “not again!” When he was asked if he feels someone did this on purpose he said that he believes this was definitely done deliberately and the person who committed the crime was trying to annoy him. Lee thinks this because of the message on the board and how it was trying to get a message across.

This is still an ongoing investigation because the criminal has still not being caught. The evidence that was found include, open scissors with a finger print, a biscuit wrapper, a handwriting sample, a fake giraffe tail with fluff coming out, a foot print on an envelope and a door that had been locked. All the evidence has been collected and is going to be investigated by experts.

By Gracie:)

All The words in RED are Adverbial phrases

All the words in PINK are Pronouns

All the words in BLUE are Action Verbs

All the words in GREEN are Saying Verbs

Term Three Project Reflection

Term 3 Project Reflection:

In Term Three we did projects on Australian’s involved in medical or scientific research or human rights. We worked in groups with a maximum of three people and had to present the final product in a creative way other than just a speech and a power point. In my group I had myself, Amelia and Eve and we did the Woman’s Suffragette Movement. To make our presentation creative, we did a play and wore suitable costumes and had props. Here are some things that I learnt from the project and my overall thoughts and feelings:


Three facts I found interesting and surprising:

  • In 1891 a Victorian suffragette named Vida Goldstein collected over 30,000 signatures to show to the Victorian parliament. This was said to be the longest petition ever showed to parliament. Vida collected the signatures to show how much Victorian’s wanted suffrage (the right to vote and be heard in politics).
  • Suffragettes used to chain themselves to fences, set fire to mailboxes and buildings, protest, write letters, form societies, debated with people, smashed windows and went on hunger strikes just to get suffrage. Even an English suffragette called Emily Davison killed herself when she attempted to stop a horse in a race by throwing herself at it.
  • A suffragette called Edith Cowan from Western Australia was the first woman ever to be elected into the Australian parliament because she was voted in in 1921 after western Australia granted women living there suffrage. Edith also got her image on the fifty dollar note and has a university named after her called the Edith Cowan University.


Two Understandings I now have:


  • Without the Woman involved in the Woman’s suffragette movement Australian women could still not be allowed to vote and have their say in politics in our country. That also means Julia Gillard could have never been our Prime Minister and every women in the Australian parliament today probably wouldn’t be there either.
  • Some of the main leaders that where in the Woman’s Suffragette Movement in Australia came from all over the country. Mary Lee came from South Australia and helped the sate get suffrage in 1894; Edith Cowan came from Western Australia and became the first woman to be elected into the Australian parliament and finally, Vida Goldstein, a suffragette from Victoria who collected over 30,000 signatures to show how much she wanted suffrage.


One Wondering I still have is:


  • What did Edith Cowan and all the other early women that where elected into Australian parliament want to change the most and have their say in and what where some of the first changes?


What were the most important things I learnt?


The most important things that I learnt would probably be, if you are working in a group spit up the jobs and information that you have to research because you don’t want everyone to go off and research and then you come back to school and everyone has got the same information. To prevent this from happening, work out a way to communicate as a group together outside of school so you can check what everyone is doing and make sure you are all researching something different. Another important thing I learnt is to always practise and put 100% effort into everything because it makes your presentation a whole lot better. You should try to be completely ready to present at least a week before the actual date so you have time to practise more and feel confident and ready.


How did I learn it?


I learnt to split up the jobs between the group from past experiences when working with a group and class lessons on how to be organised. I learnt to know to be well prepared from watching past performances and speeches because you can just tell if they are prepared or not because it makes the presentation a whole lot more interesting and engaging.


What am I going to do with what I have learnt?


I am going to remember all these skills for another project I will have to do in the future so it can be better and more interesting.


Overall I think this has been one of the best projects I have done and I really enjoyed working with my group because we all really worked as a team. I also thought all the information we researched was very interesting and enjoyable to read and study. I enjoyed this project and most of all had a lot of fun!

Notes Into Summaries

In Term Three we did projects on Australian’s involved in medical or scientific research or human rights. When each group presented we took notes, here are the summaries from my notes:

Professor David Craig

Professor David Craig was a professor that got a degree in 1940 at university while studying Physical and Theatrical Chemistry. He attended Cheadle Hulme Grammar school after migrating to Australia with his family in 1911 from Manchester, England. He went to World War II in 1942 to 1944 and now even has a medal named after him called the David Craig Medal. He was awarded the medal because of his research in Carbon Dioxide n2o.

Barry James Marshall

Barry James Marshall discovered a disease that caused stomach olsers when he found bacteria in the stomach. He worked at the Royal Perth Hospital in 1980 and was a physician 1951. People used to think that stomach olsers where caused by spicy food but Barry found out that it was in the digestive tissue in your stomach. This discovery led to his Nobel Prize later on in medicine.

Sir Marcus Oliphant

Sir Marcus Oliphant created the atomic bomb, the same bomb that landed in Japan. The bomb only lasted a few seconds but it set off extreme heats and radioactivity that causes fatal radiation sickness. The shock wave was extremely bright and powerful making people blind and vanish in a second. Sir Marcus felt very guilty because of his work and didn’t mean for the bomb to do so much damage.

Andy Thomas

Andy Thomas works in Space exploration at NASA where he works on projects like the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle and an Exo-skeleton Space suit. He also went on the space mission STS102.

Professor Andrew White

Professor Andrew White was born in 1932 in Queensland, Australia and had two children. He studied Quantum Physics and mainly researched and developed a better understanding of Quantum Mechanics. He was also awarded the “Porsley” Award when he was a councillor in America.

Isobel Bennett

Isobel Bennet was a marine biologist that was born in 1909 and died in 2008. She grew up in Brisbane and then moved to Sydney.Before she became a marine biologist she worked many occupations such as a secretary, librarian and teacher. In 1933 she lost her job and soon after she went on a four day cruise to Norfolk island where she was offered a job as a Marine Biologist. Marine Biology helps keep water clean and animals alive. She discovered that the “Taggerah” King Prawns go back to the ocean to breed and Plankton lives in groups and is food for whales. She now has 5 species, a coral reef and school science labs named after her, she also has written 10 books including “Great Barrier Reef” and “Australian Seashores”.

Graeme Clark

Graeme Clark was the first to build the bionic ear and he was born in Camden New South Wales. In 1964 he was given a fellowship because of his work as a nose, ear and throat surgeon to the University of Knee in London. The bionic ear is placed under the skin behind the hear and has a special microphone that sends signals. He was inspired by his father who was deft and by the age of 10 he had an interest in disabilities. There is no prediction of the future of the bionic ear but something I think that might change is it’s size.

We also watched some presentations from other classes:

Professor Martin Pero

Professor Martin Pero helped develop the understanding of stem cells. Stem cells are like the baby cells that don’t have a job to do yet, and they can turn into different cells then change back except for red blood cells. Martin has many chairs and boards in science such as The Chair Of Australian Stem Cells. He has also published over 100 books for children to read that are about stem cells.

Abigail Allwood

Abigail Allwood develops robots and organises space missions at NASA  and is currently working on the 2020 mars landing. At school she was interested in fossils and didn’t like maths, she attended the Queensland University and Macquarie University where she studied physics but then changed to geology. She also helps with the development of using robots on planets.

Dame Kate Campbell

Dame Kate Campbell was born on the 22 of April 1899 and her background was New Zealander and Scottish. She worked on a sudden infant death syndrome that was related to an eye diseases. She was a pedetrition and discovered the connection between brain sweat and an eye disease called “Retrolental Fibroplasia”. Dame died in 1986.

By Gracie:)



What Do We Know About Australia Before The British Came

The British first came into Australian when William Dampier entered Australian waters in 1688, he then became the first Englishman to reach Australia. On the 26th of January 1788 Captain James Cook placed the british flag in Australian soil making Australia part of the British Commenwealth. Cook declared that the land of Botany bay was unoccupied, but in fact Australia was the home of many groups of islanders called Aboriginals that had their own laws and ways to live life.

Before the British came Aboriginals used to hunt native animals for food and carve their own weapons such as spears and boomerangs. All over Australia their would be hundreds of tibes of Aboriginals that had their own language and beliefs such as the Eora people and the Dharug people. All these tribes had different lifestyles and traditions that were very important to their lives. Aboriginals shared the land with Torres Strait Islanders as well as them selves. The islanders past down their stories and spiritual messages by dancing to their special group of Aboriginals, they would make a clay paint and dress their body in it and other nature objects. They still do this dancing today as well as their special dot painting art.

Australia’s land was completely free of buildings and large constructions, the closest to a building was shelters that the native islanders would have made from wood and tree branches. Australia had large plains of red dirt and native trees such as the gum-tree covering the earth. Many explores who visited Australia (back then know as Van dimans land) didn’t worry about claiming the land because of the bare and dry land qualities. Ants, grubs, beetles, fish and  eels were many of the main food eaten by Aboriginals. Many birds were also eaten, such as the waterfowl, scrub fowl, Cassowary and the Jabiru, a goanna’s fat was considered a delicacy for the native people.









Term 2 Project Reflection

Three facts I found interesting and surprising:

  • The Immune System is the body’s way of defending ourselves against bacteria and diseases.
  • The Lymphatic System is connected to the Immune System.
  • Note taking is selecting key words or phrases.


Two understandings I now have:

  • The Immune System has lots of different ways to prevent bacteria or disease getting in all around the body.
  • The Lymphatic System is connected to the Immune System because it makes important things such as white blood cells in the Thymus or Spleen and gives them to the Immune System to help fight bacteria or a disease that is trying to get into the body.


One wondering I still have is:

  • Are there any diseases that are related to the Immune System that have no cure except for AIDS and HIV?


What were the most important things I learnt?

  • Note taking; I found this skill really helpful when selecting key words for summaries and writing information in my own words. This skill also helped me when I had to write cue cards for presenting time.


How did I learn it?

  • I learnt how to note take by the lessons I’ve had in my time in year six and other years, I found the lessons very helpful and interesting.


What am I going to do with what I have learnt?

  • I think being able to note take is a very useful skill so I will use it a lot in the future. I will definitely use it for my next class project and any other activity that involves picking out key words or phrases.

I really enjoyed doing this project, presenting it and learning lots of new skills, so please check out the finished product made by me and to other members in my group below!


Human Body System Summaries

During term two our class broke up into groups of three and studied a human body system. While they were presenting there final work on their system we took lots of notes, mainly key words or phrases and then turned the information into summaries of the body system. Here are my summaries:


The Nervous System:

 The Nervous System is made up of the Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. The Central Nervous System is made up by the brain, spinal cord with neurons that send messages to and from the brain along the spinal cord, these messages travel at about 800kph! The Peripheral Nervous System is where messages sent from the brain go along the spinal cord then branch out to other areas of the body to deliver the message. In 1681, the study of Neurology started but today scientists still don’t know everything about the system. Strokes can affect the Nervous System and they make you unable to talk, write and read. Having processed or pre-papered food is not good for the system and if you have poor nutrition you could have a Nervous breakdown. Amazingly, the left side part of the brain controls the right side of your body and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body! The right side of the brain is better at music and the arts while the left is better at writing and speaking. In the future scientists want to make and improve medicines and create artificial nerve cells.

The Muscular System:

 The Muscular System is the system of all the muscles, like all the 650 muscles in our body. Our biceps and triceps are skelatul muscles and they help us to bend and straighten our arm. Hair muscles are called “Arrector Pili”muscle and they are made of smooth muscle fibres. Our Pectoral muscle is in our chests and our Gluteal muscle belongs in our buttox, each muscle has muscle cells made of protein and fillments. Some problems the Muscular System can get is Atony, (stiff and sore muscles), Zenker’s Degeneration in the skeletal muscle and when your Pelvic Floor muscle tightens. You can care for your Muscular System by sustaining a good posture and healthy weight. In the future scientists will probably have better technology and better robotic muscles to use on humans.

The Circulatory System:

The Circulatory System’s job is for the heart, blood, veins, cappilaries and ateries to send oxygen and nutrients around the body. The heart pumps because of cardiac tissue and inside the heart is the aorta, left and right atrium, left and right ventricles and gate like valves. The right side of the heart takes blood to and from the heart and the left side collects oxygenated blood from the lungs. Blood is made from plasma, white blood cells, platelets and red blood cells. The stages of the colours of a bruise are: red, bluish purple, green or yellow, then finally light brown. The Respiratory System is related to the Circulatory System because they both use the lungs.

The Lymphatic System:

The Lymphatic System was discovered by Thomas Bartholin in 1652. The system is made up of the spleen, tonsils, thymus, lymph nodes, certchyli, thoracic duct and it’s job is to send lymph and white blood cells though blood vessels around the body. Doing meditation or yoga and eating healthy foods helps your Lymphatic System and your Immune System because both these systems are connected. A cancer you can get is called Lymphoma in the Lymphoid tissue, it makes you have fevers, weight loss, sweating a lot and it stops your body making white blood cells. Lymph nodes help your body fight fungus and disease, and if we didn’t have the Lymphatic system we would have severe swelling because of too much blood in the bodies vessels. In the future, scientists want to develop a 100% safe cure for chemo therapy.

The Urinary System:

The Urinary System is made up of the kidneys, Ureters, Sphincter and Urethra, it was discovered in 1540 by Andeas Vesaliaus. The system’s job is to filter our blood in the kidneys and turn body waste, sweat and water into urine, the nephrons in the kidneys help with this process. Two main problems the Urinary System can have are Kidney Cancer were you experience blood in your urine, unexplained weight loss and fevers, and Kidney Stone were salt gets into your kidney and forms salt crystals that block urine. In the future of the Urinary System scientists hope to have more and new improved technology and the use of more 3D printers for medical procedures.

The Skeletal System:

The Skeletal System is the system of all the 206 bones in our body (306 for babies) and it helps keep all our organs in place. It was discovered over many years, but the first person to study the system was Gaylen. Although our bones are tough, diseases such as Osteoporeous and breakages can still occur, the different types of fractures you can get are transverse, oblique, spiral and commiuted. Having lots of calcium and vitamin D is very good because it makes your bones stronger. In the future the use of bionic bones want to be more developed and useful and scientists want to start using a re-growth formula to grow back bones and skeletons.

The Respiratory System:

The Respiratory System helps us to breathe and it was discovered by Mr. Hoohe when he found out that the lungs act as a pump. The mouth, nose, lungs, trachea and diaframe are the main parts that make up the system. Astma caused by narrow airways, Bronketighthes, Emphysema, Hay fever, Infulsemia and pneumonia. are the main problems that affect the system. Emphysema and Lung Cancer are caused by smoking so if we don’t smoke we won’t get a chance to get either one of the diseases. In the future scientists want to be able to grow parts of the Respiratory System.

The Digestive System:

The Digestive System was discovered over many years but the person that discovered that there is acid that breaks down food in our stomach was William Beaumont in the 1820s. The stomach, Liver, Rectum (stores waste), appendix, gall bladder, pancreas, small and large intestines and oesophagus make up the system and their job is to turn food into energy and waste into poo, it also helps us eat and drink. Your stomach is a stretchy sac that makes food in to a liquid mixture and it does this by all the gastric juices in our stomach. Your liver is a filter that seperates harmful chemicals and nutrients, it also produces bile.


The Nervous System

Predict: I predict these articles about our brain, systems in or that connect to our brain, what’s inside our brain and how the brain works.

Read: You can find the text at these sites: here and here

Questions: How are nerves made? Answer: neurons join together

Key Words: brain, skull, heart, lungs, muscles, think, see, feel, taste, Cerebrum, thinking part, Cerebellum, controls balance, movement, co-ordination, brain stem, spinal cord, body functions, breathing, circulating blood, Pituitary gland, hormones, grow, Hypothalmus, body temperature, spine, nerves, nervous system, Neurons, cells, electrical messages, eyes, skin, nose, ears, tongue, collects messages, feelings, emotions, fibre, fatty, myelin, nerve cells, chemical, electrical action, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, synaptic terminal, tiny sacs, neurotransmitter chemicals, muscle cells, several times, cranial nerves and spinal nerves.

Summary: In our skull lives the our brain. The brain keeps our whole body working, like our hearts beating and our lungs working properly. It helps us to think have different emotions, see, hear, feel and taste, balance, move, co-ordinate, breath, circulate blood, grow, release hormones and regulate our body temperature. We need the Cerebrum, Cerebellum, Brain Stem, Pituitary Gland and the Hypothalmus for the brain to do all these things because they are the main parts of the brain!

Our brain is connected to the spinal cord and lots and lots of nerves travel along it carrying messages to the brain, including Neuron cells carrying electrical messages, This is called the Nervous System. The messages come from our eyes, skin, nose, ears and tongue. The nervous system is made up of neurons (Nerve makers) and lots of cells. Nerves are fibres covered in myelin and work by chemical and electrical actions, making impulses to muscle cells and using releasing neurotransmitter chemicals. This process happens several times before the message is delivered. There are two main parts of the Nervous System they are the Central Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. The Central Nervous System is made up by the brain and spinal cord and together they control the body functions. The Peripheral Nervous System sends messages to and from the central nervous system. The messages travel through cranial nerves and spinal nerves that branch out from the brain and spinal cord.