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Science: Forensics Classroom ActivitiesDownload
mr spud_step2

Murder in the First Degree - The Death of Mr. Spud

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Students model the process of cooling and use a cooling curve to simulate a forensic scenario to predict the time of death. They use technology to find an exponential plot.
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Bouncing Back KeyShot2

Forensics Case 2 - Bouncing Back: Using ground-penetrating radar to locate buried objects

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In this activity, students gather data to explore the use of ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to find buried materials. They use a range finder to detect the presence of an object and to distinguish between different-shaped objects. They find the buried car and help solve a case.
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NAME TUNE KEYSHOT1

Forensics Case 3 - Name That Tune: Matching musical tones through waveform analysis

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In this activity, students analyze sound waves to calculate the frequency or pitch of musical notes. They use a Microphone to detect the waveform of a musical note. Students calculate the frequency of a musical note from the period of its waveform and use this knowledge to identify the musical notes that make up the combination to a safe.
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Flipping Coins KeyShot2

Forensics Case 4 - Flipping Coins: Density as a characteristic property

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In this activity, students identify counterfeit coins based on the characteristic property of density. They model data using a linear equation, interpret the slope and intercept values from a linear model, and identify a characteristic property of a substance.
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Ink Still Wet KeyShot2

Forensics Case 5 - The Ink Is Still Wet: Using colorimetry to identify an unknown ink

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In this activity, students identify the ink of a ransom note to match suspects. They identify an unknown ink by its light absorbance characteristics. The experiment set up used is to measure a solutions absorbance of different colors (wavelengths) of light.
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Meas Momentum KeyShot1

Forensics Case 6 - Measuring Momentum: Using distance moved after impact to estimate velocity

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This activity introduces the concept of momentum as it applies to vehicle collisions. Students accurately gather data of collision of a vehicle with a stationary object, and establish a relationship between the distance an object moves after a collision with a vehicle and the momentum of the vehicle.
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Drug Tests KeyShot2

Forensics Case 7 - Drug Tests: Identifying an unknown chemical

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In this activity, students distinguish between physical and chemical properties. They also understand the differences between qualitative and quantitative observations. They use quantitative and qualitative analyses to identify an unknown powder.
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No Dumping KeyShot2

Forensics Case 8 - No Dumping: Using soil characteristics to link suspects to a crime scene

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In this activity, students measure pH, conductivity, and water absorbency of different samples of soil. They use these characteristic properties to identify soil samples. They use the physical and chemical characteristics of soil samples collected from suspects to determine whether a suspect had been at a scene of crime.
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Killer Cup KeyShot2

Forensics Case 9 - Killer Cup of Coffee: Using colorimetry to determine concentration of a poison

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In this activity, students will use colorimetry to determine the concentration of a colored species in a solution and use a linear relationship to model Beer's law. They use Beer's law to determine the concentration of iron(III)thiocyanate (FeSCN2+) in an unknown solution.
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Dropped at Scene KeyShot1

Forensics Case 10 - Dropped at the Scene: Blood spatter analysis

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In this activity, students graph data to find quantitative relationships and create a standard reference curve for comparison with unknown data. They analyze blood spatters and examine r2 values for linear, natural logarithm, quadratic, and power curve fit. They find the curve that best fits the data and use it to determine the height from which blood has dropped.
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Ashes to Ashes KeyShot 2

Forensics Case 11 - Ashes to Ashes: Using evaporation rate to identify an unknown liquid

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In this activity, students understand that evaporation rate is a characteristic property of a liquid. Based on this fact, they identify the solution and the likely accelerant in a case of arson. They compare the evaporation rates of the accelerants found with the suspects with those near the crime site.
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Hit  Run KeyShot2

Forensics Case 12 - Hit and Run: Using information from an event data recorder to reconstruct an ac

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Students learn how distance traveled, velocity, and acceleration are related to one another and how the appearance of an acceleration, velocity, or distance vs. time graph can be used to predict the appearance of the other graphs. They show how accident scenes can be recreated through an analysis of the data that are gathered by an event data recorder (EDR).
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Life in Fast Lane KeyShot1

Forensics Case 13 - Life in the Fast Lane: Using skid marks to determine vehicle speed

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Students determine the coefficient of friction between a vehicle and a road surface. They use the length of the skidding distance to determine the speed of a vehicle before its brakes were applied. Students convert between SI units and Imperial units and rearrange equations to solve for different variables.
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Hot Air Cold Body KeyShot1

Forensics Case 14—Hot Air, Cold Body: Using Newton's Law of Cooling to Determine Time of Death

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Students create a temperature versus time graph for cooling and become familiar with Newton's Law of Cooling. They use the cooling-rate equation to estimate time of death of the victim.
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