Tuesday, January 27, 2009

General Science: The Case of the Stolen Handouts

This week we were supposed to do a fascinating investigation, Salt: What makes it taste so darn good? As usual, I placed the handouts on the table, and then left for a few minutes to gather some supplies. When the kids arrived, my whiteboard was lying on what I thought was the pile, but when I lifted it, I was quite shocked to find no paper, but a PILE OF MYSTERIOUS WHITE POWDER!!!

While the kids were checking outside for clues, I quickly dusted for fingerprints, messengered the fingerprints over to the police station, and after a lightning-fast search through their databases, they faxed me a list of suspects (further proof Raanana is in fact Israel's most efficiently-run city).

1) Danny Sadinoff, a real meat-and-potatoes guy who likes his gravy so much (and so thick), that he is often seen carrying a bag of corn starch. When questioned he admitted that he needed some paper to block the sun out of his office since there are no curtains.

2) Chen Sadinoff, aka babyface likes nothin' better than Cheerios with a generous sprinkling of sugar. She's known to be quite mischievous, stealing people's homework and other important documents only to scribble on them in some top secret language known only to her and her evil associates.

3) Asaf, owner of the popular Yaar Kasum stationery store: Asaf could not be found when we came to question him, but a woman who works there mentioned that she has heard him complain about my having cut back on the copies I make there. Also suspicious were the packets of baking soda sitting on the counter.

4)Me...Look, it's not surprising that MY fingerprints were found. After all, it is my kitchen. Still, some of the more cynical members of the chug had the nerve to suggest that I had planned the whole thing. Pretty ridiculous, I know.

Luckily our amateur detectives had some previous experience identifying white powders. With the help of iodine, vinegar, a microscope, and an electrical circuit run through water, they were able to identify the powder and ID the bad guys.

Turns out the powder was a mixture: salt and corn starch suggesting that it wasn't one perp but two. And, if it weren't for you meddling kids, Danny and I would have gotten away with it!

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