Click below to read a summary of the fraud detection project ideas for Bronze, Silver, and Gold awards; or to go back to project ideas click here.
Investigate ways of revealing and recording fingerprints
Fingerprints show up better on some surfaces than on others. A ‘latent’ print is one that is there, but not clearly visible. The aim of this project is to find out which methods are best for revealing latent fingerprints on different types of surface. You also need to make a permanent record of the prints, to use as evidence in court for instance.
Investigate methods of detecting and identifying various drugs
In this project, in place of controlled drugs, you will use common analgesics (painrelievers), such as aspirin. The tablets are usually white, and when powdered it is impossible to tell which is which by sight. This is the sort of problem that forensic scientists face. Is this cocaine, aspirin, or just icing sugar? The aim of this project is to investigate methods of detecting specific drugs (analgesics in this case), and thus to decide which, if any, an unidentified powder contains.
Investigate methods of measuring people’s alcohol levels
In the U.K. it is illegal to drive if the alcohol level in your blood is above 80 mg per 100 ml (about 0.08%). We therefore need ways to determine whether a person is ‘over the limit’. The aim of this project is to find out how a suspect’s alcohol level can be measured. You will investigate simple chemical tests, and more sophisticated methods. Local police may be willing to show you their breath alcohol meters. You should also link up with an organisation that uses appropriate instrumental analysis (though not necessarily for ethanol), so that you can see the instruments in use, and maybe analyse some of your own samples.