CSI: The Chocolate Cake Case

Dr Tanja Reinhardt

  • Duration: 60 min
  • Language: English
  • Ages: All Ages
  • Date: January 29, 2021 18:00
  • Recorded: Live session with recording available afterwards
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Calling young (and not so young) detectives to help us solve a crime at Fake Town University !! They need to look at fingerprints, mysterious chemicals, secret messages and much more…The participants use different scientific methods, e.g. investigation of powder using red tea and vinegar, comparison of DNA and Fingerprints, deciphering of an encoded message to find out who the culprit is. The workshop introduces the learners to various scientific investigation methods as well as logical thinking in order to find the culprit. They will learn something about Cryptography (deciphering the message), Chemistry (analysing a powder) & Life Sciences (DNA fingerprints).

What the participants will need:

  • Paper to make notes
  • Pencil and pen
  • Hand cream or vaseline
  • Sello tape
  • Scissors
  • Large white plate
  • Small straw, or pipette
  • 3 teaspoons Bicarbonate
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 3 teaspoons washing powder
  • 3 teaspoons crème of tartar
  • 3 teaspoons flour
  • 1 glass red grape juice or red tea (e.g. Woolie’s cranberry) to use it as indicator, you can also use turmeric and hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol



Tanja Reinhardt is the Science Centre Coordinator at the Science and Technology Education Centre at the University of KwaZulu Natal (STEC@UKZN). She was instrumental in establishing STEC in 2008 and has grown it from a science museum to a vibrant educational centre for various levels. Apart from developing and delivering workshops she also has a passion for science shows. Tanja’s love for rocks, gadgets and experiments makes her a frequent guest at events such as the Royal Show, ZulFest and SciFest Africa. Her Germanic sense of humour and her passion for geology won her awards as “best workshop presenter” at SciFest Africa in 2013, 2017 and 2019. Tanja holds a Diploma and a PhD in mineralogy from the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany.