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Gifted Students Use Pollen to Solve Murder Mystery

Originally published 21 July 2004

15 gifted students, all members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth, are to team up with police and members of Royal Botanic Gardens staff , Kew on Saturday 24th July for a one-day event in forensic investigation, where they will solve a murder using pollen analysis.

A murder has been committed at Kew. A Kew gardener has gone missing but hastily buried clothing has been found. The students, aged 14-19, are challenged to work as forensic experts to help solve the mystery of the missing horticulturist. The students will use pollen analysis to locate the scene and season of crime to bring the killer to justice.

The afternoon investigation involves a case of international smuggling of timber from endangered tropical trees, which will be identified using DNA fingerprinting. Students will then present the evidence to Kew Gardens constabulary to assist them with their enquiries.

Designed for members with a passion for forensics and ecology the course is a one off event, heavily subsidised by Kew and arranged by Sheffield Hallam University, who are a partner of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth.

The Academy, based at the University of Warwick, is open to the top 5% of gifted and talented pupils in England, and is working to improve educational provision for the most able students by working with students, educators and parents.

Professor Deborah Eyre, Director of NAGTY, said: "Pupils with high potential need to have the opportunity to become high-achievers, and giftedness needs to be nurtured through access to challenging opportunities. This outreach event is just one of a vast array of events and provision we have available to our members.”

Outreach events are short courses that normally take place over the course of a day, at weekends or in school holidays and are open to all of the Academy's members. They are run all over the country and are delivered by top experts in their field. This year NAGTY will offer around 200 events for around 6000 students.

For more information please contact:

Jenny Murray,
Press Officer,
Communications Office,
University of Warwick,
Tel: 02476 574 255,
Mobile: 07876 21 7740.

You are invited to illustrate your coverage of the ‘Passion and Pollen’ event with students using pollen analysis to solve the mystery of the missing horticulturist. Photo/ Filming Opportunity: 10.15am Saturday 24th July 1004, Museum No.1, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Surrey.