Education Technology

Forensics with TI-Nspire™ - Case File: Drug Tests

Activity Overview

In this activity, students will attempt to identify an unknown “drug” as they explore the differences between chemical and physical properties and between qualitative and quantitative observations.


  • Distinguish between physical and chemical properties.
  • Distinguish between qualitative and quantitative observation.
  • Identify an unknown powder using physical and chemical properties.

About the Lesson

  • In this data-gathering activity, students will identify an unknown powder using physical and chemical properties.
  • This lab requires teacher preparation of the samples prior to class.
  • Students will collect data using the Vernier EasyLink™ or TI-Nspire Lab Cradle with the Vernier pH Sensor and Vernier Conductivity Probe
  • The student activity sheet and .tns file contain the complete instructions for data collection. All assessment questions are also included in both places giving you the flexibility to either collect the .tns files with student data/answers (using TI-Nspire Navigator) or the student activity sheet.