A GRISLY murder took place in Llangollen, but school student sleuths soon had the culprit bang to rights.
In fact, not only did they find out whodunit, but they also came up with a flood survival pack and built a wind turbine, a suspension bridge, an electricity generator and a robot.
It was just another day at school for 90 Year 10 pupils of Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen, as they worked with industry experts from Airbus, civil engineers, and experts on robotics and forensic science from Techniquest in Wrexham.
They were at a special Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths event at the Royal International Pavilion, organised as part of the Llwyddon’n Lleol programme, funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund.
This aims to help young people across North Wales to develop their career paths and the Pavilion event was designed to create awareness of the opportunities and the practical realities of the world of work.
The students worked with representatives of the aviation, construction, energy, science and technical industries to learn how they go about tackling practical problems.
These included studying flooding in a Denbighshire town and coming up with a cheap and effective flood survival pack, building an indoor suspension bridge as well as an electricity generator, exploring atomic science, forensic science and robotics.
The day was hailed as a big success by Ysgol Dinas Bran deputy headteacher Mark Hatch, who said: “We have had the whole of Year Ten here and it’s been very worthwhile.
“As a mathematician myself, it’s great to see how maths and science can be connected to the real world from flood risk management to robotics.
“The students have also been mixed up so they have had to work in groups with people they might not have worked with before and that involves other workplace skills of co-operation and teamwork.
“We’ve been involved in previous events provided by Jenni Edwards and Llwyddo’n Lleol and they have been very good as well and of great benefit to the pupils.
“We do computer programming and engineering at GCSE and here they can see the real life applications of those courses and there will be someone here today who wants to be a forensic scientist working on crime scenes and if we can inspire them then it’s great."
Mike Wellingtion, of civil engineers Martin Wright Associates, of Pulford, Chester, said it was a good opportunity to tell the students about the varied work involved in civil engineering, especially on the topical subject of flooding.
He worked with the pupils on flood risk management in Denbigh and also in preparing a flood survival pack.
Dinas Bran pupil George Fletcher, 14, of Froncysyllte, said: “It’s been very good and we’ve learned how to deal with flood risk and working in this area could be something I’d be interested in in future.”
Analysing blood spatter patterns and taking fingerprints were two of the skills being taught by Mark Watson, of Techniquest in Wrexham, at the scene of a brutal murder and Casrys Strallard, 14, of Llangollen, said: “It’s been a lot of fun and I’d definitely think about a career in CSI now.”
Students from Denbigh High School also took part in the Royal International Pavilion event while a similar day was held at Optic Technium in St Asaph for pupils of Prestatyn High School and Ysgol Glan Clwyd, St Asaph.
Both were organised by Jenni Edwards, Llwyddo’n Lleol project officer for Conwy and Denbighshire, and she said: “It is vital in North Wales that we build a strong and skilled workforce that will create a vibrant economy for the region and in turn create more opportunities for the future."