Whodunnit at Edinburgh College

An Edinburgh College computing suite became a (mock) crime scene as 21 students from local schools attended Codespace CSI, a pilot scheme developed by the computing team to engage young women in digital skills.

Over four afternoons, the pupils learned a variety of digital skills including image manipulation to find number plates and hidden artefacts; manipulating CCTV footage to calculate the speed of cars; programming to create a blood splatter calculator; SQL (Structured Query Language) to search criminal records and vehicle databases; and Linux command line to learn forensic file recovery techniques.

The final afternoon was the murder mystery, an immersive experience with real crime scene photos, boxes of evidence bagged and tagged and digital forensic evidence to work through. The pupils worked in teams to build a case for a double murder against one of the five suspects.

Sam Blyth, curriculum manager for Computing at Edinburgh College, coordinated the Codespace CSI event. She said: “The event worked really well and the feedback we had from the pupils who took part was tremendous. Many of them are now keen to work in the field or study at college on courses such as BEng Security, forensics, digital media and games development. They all said they would come back and do another college initiative in the future too.

“We were also pleased that 80% of the participants were girls aged between 14-17 as this was our target audience.”

The participants will be presented with their certificates at this year’s Creative Industries Employability Day on 8 February. The school pupils will also be invited to join college students to hear from industry experts and panellists working in digital and creative industries, including Oracle.

Codespace CSI will be running at Granton Campus in February and later in the year at Milton Road.