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Spies and CSI's in Training: Science Camp

Ms. Sarah, M.Ed. Science Education
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In this camp we will make invisible ink, create secret codes and master fingerprinting techniques. Use science to learn how to be a spy and crime scene investigator!

Class Experience

US Grade 2 - 5
Beginner Level
3 lessons//3 Weeks
 Week 1
Lesson 1
Invisible Ink: Two Methods
In this lesson we will learn how to make 2 different types of invisible secret messages and the science behind how they work. We will investigate how different pigments in fruit juice can be used as pH indicators. Using this knowledge we will make secret messages that can be revealed using a juice mixture. Then, using crayons and paint we will learn how to make a secret message using the concepts of wax resist and the properties of liquids.
 Week 2
Lesson 2
Codes and Ciphers
In this lesson we will discover and practice several different ciphers for coding secret messages. Learners will also be inspired to create their own codes and ciphers.
 Week 3
Lesson 3
Build Your Own Fingerprint Database
In this lesson we will learn about the different types of patterns found in fingerprints. Then we will discover a simple method for fingerprinting yourself or others using just a pencil and some scotch tape. Learners can then use their knowledge to build their own fingerprint database of their family and friend's fingerprints.
  • Through their secret code projects students will learn the science behind a wax resist drawing: the properties of liquids and wax that make them behave the way they do. They will learn the basics of pH and how to use pigments as a pH indicator. They will also learn how to develop a code and cipher.
I have been teaching these fun spy and CSI science activities for 20 years. Through my tenure as a science museum instructor and time as Preschool-6th grade science teacher I've enjoyed seeing countless students gleefully take their own fingerprints and decode their friend's secret messages. I'm looking forward to sharing these with your learners! 
Frequency: available upon request
Feedback: available upon request
Details: While there are no graded or required assignments for this course, learners will probably want to practice making secret messages, codes and fingerprinting outside of class time.
White crayon
Watercolor paint set
Smock (Optional)
Newspaper to cover work surfaces (Optional)
Baking soda
Dark colored juice (grape works well)
No. 2 Pencil
Pencil sharpener
Scotch tape
Joined July, 2023
Teacher expertise and credentials
Hi! I'm Sarah Benton Feitlinger and I love teaching my passions: science, nature, wildlife, STEM and STEAM, to students in Preschool through 6th grade. I hold a Bachelors degree in Biology and a Masters degree in Science Education.
I have almost... 
Group Class


weekly or $36 for 3 classes
1x per week, 3 weeks
40 min

Live video meetings
Ages: 7-11
2-7 learners per class

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