BOURNEMOUTH schoolchildren turned into forensic investigators to solve a Christmas crime.

Almost 150 year nine students from The Bourne Academy, Oakmead College of Technology, The Grange School, Carter Community School and St Aldhelm’s Academy visited Bournemouth University on Monday to discover who was responsible for a festive murder.

Youngsters completed fingerprint and hair analysis, interrogated the main suspects and learned how to extract DNA after Rudolph was murdered, with Santa, Mrs Claus, and his fellow reindeer in the frame.

The students also analysed the reindeer’s stomach contents to see if he had been poisoned.

The Who Killed Rudolph? event was led by students in their second and third years at the university.

Larissa Turney, who is in her final year at BU, was helping pupils to discover if Rudolph’s carrot was poisoned.

She said: “We’ve had a few students show an interest in forensics, which is really the whole point of the day.

“They’ve been asking about careers you can have. It’s been lots of fun.”

Oakmead teacher Dawn Griffiths said the students were having a wonderful day.

“They have been fully engaged, and have had the chance to use professional equipment,” she said.

“It’s been really hands-on for them, which is great.”

Naomi Capell, outreach officer at BU, organised the event with the Royal Veterinary College in order to introduce pupils to forensic science.

She said: “Most schools won’t have access to this kind of equipment, so one of our main aims for today was to show people what can be done with science.

“Studying a science at university is completely different to doing the same thing at school.

“Hopefully the pupils will have enjoyed the day and thought a bit more about studying a science at university.”

BU Masters student Holly Baker took on the role of a reindeer during the event.

She said: “We’re trying to get kids interested in learning about science.

“A lot of these kids attend schools where there might not be such a big focus on studying science at university, and we’re trying to raise aspirations with this day.”