Teenagers from across the UK have had a unique opportunity to be the first group of young people to spend a week studying the many aspects of forensic engineering at Cranfield University.

As part of the programmes organised by the Smallpeice Trust, which encourages young people’s involvement in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), Cranfield Forensic Institute, based at The Defence Academy of the United Kingdom in Shrivenham hosted 30 Year-10 to 12 students on a residential four-day course. They got to learn about – as well try for themselves – a host of forensic disciplines.

 As well as working with academics and research students, they got hands-on with a range of forensic techniques as they investigated a burglary scenario and an abandoned car enquiry. They learned how to analyse the evidence they collected, how to build a case and even the skills they would need to present their evidence in court.

Dr Kevin P Stenson, Chief Executive of the Smallpeice Trust said: “We are delighted that our partners at Cranfield University have enabled the Trust to introduce a forensics residential course for A-Level students.

“Given these students are about to apply to university, this course will help them separate the facts from the fiction in terms of real life forensics.”

The course was devised by PhD student Constantinos Franceskides, who said: “PhD students tend to get absorbed in the dynamic world of their research; so what better way to add something different to our routine than teaching young, intelligent and driven students the fundamentals of our science. 

“As with every new project, we had to adapt to the changes that were required in order to ensure the smooth running of the course, yet not losing focus of what we initially wanted to achieve – to give young people an exciting and interesting introduction to forensic science.

The course was part of Cranfield University’s ongoing outreach efforts to encourage young people to consider careers in STEM subjects. It was the first ever forensic engineering course delivered via the Smallpeice Trust, which was established in 1966 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. 

Smallpeice students get to grips with the abandoned car scenario

Notes for editors

About the Smallpeice Trust: please visit http://www.smallpeicetrust.org.uk/

About Cranfield University

Cranfield University is a specialist postgraduate university that is a global leader for education and transformational research in technology and management.