Crime Scene Activities, Books, and Investigations for Kids
About Forensic Science
Complete Curriculum for High School Forensic Science
A comprehensive collection of all the resources collected, manufactured, and utilized by Brennon Sapp during his nine years of teaching Forensic Science to high school students.
Forensics is the application of science to solving crimes, and scientists are getting really good at it. “There’s no such thing as getting away without a trace,” says Jose Almirall. “There’s always evidence left behind.”
Forensic Science Lesson Plans
A 9-week course on Forensic Science for 8th graders. You need to be able to view Power Point (PPT) and Acrobat (PDF) files. As this designed for classrooms, it might be perfect for a co-op class, or use it on your own.
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Careful Collecting of Evidence
Crime Scene Investigation
A real crime scene investigation site. Learn how the experts carefully collect evidence so as not to destroy it in the process.
Dusting for Fingerprints
Fingerprints are coated with powder, then lifted and taken for identification at the lab. This experiment uses cocoa powder.
It is easy to take your own fingerprints, though it’s a bit messy with the ink! With enough care, you can find out what sort of fingerprints you have. You can also identify your friends from their fingerprint!
Fingerprint Classification Project
Follow these instructions for a great lesson on fingerprinting and the scientific method. This project is great for gifted or older elementary students or for middle school students.
Secrets of the Dead
Crime scene investigations meet history. A PBS series you can also watch on TV.
How Evidence is Examined
FBI – How We Investigate
With the lessons learned during these years, Agents are trained to recognize the many tricks that spies use: fake names, secret messages, special hiding places.
You can be an analytical chemist or forensic scientist in this activity, by finding out what color flames different metals make, and working out the identity of some unknown metal solutions.
Foot to Height
The bones of the feet can tell a lot about a person. What do feet reveal about a person’s height? Forensic anthropologists team up with law enforcers to help solve crimes.
Ink Chromatography Lab
Chromatography is a method of separating out materials from a mixture. Ink is a mixture of several dyes and therefore we can separate those colors from one another using chromatography. Used to determine which pen wrote the letter.
Is handwriting analysis legit science?
What’s the Straight Dope on handwriting analysis? I know that handwriting experts’ testimony can be accepted in court, so there must be something to it. But I have a hard time believing that a smart criminal wouldn’t be able to change his writing to avoid detection.
Mystery Party Game – Operation Crime Scene Investigation
Our forensic mystery game for kids age 10 – 16. The object of the game is to visit all the labs and compare their collected evidence against the crime databases to see what they can find out about the victim and the suspect.
A forensic scientist may discover powder at a crime scene. In order to determine if it is illegal or not the crime lab will identify the substance using chemistry.
Practice being a forensic dentist by leaving the room. One student in the room will take a bite of thick cheese or thick chocolate. See if you can identify the individual who took the bite by comparing the impressions with the bite in the cheese or chocolate.
These experiments use faked urine, so don’t get squeamish. The tests are for color and odor, pH, and the presence or absence of protein and glucose.
Now Try to Solve These Crimes
The Case of the Barefoot Burglar
At approximately 7:15 a.m., Friday morning, Mrs. King, the seventh grade science teacher, thought something was fishy as she walked down the hall and noticed that her door was open.
FBI Investigates A Strange Flashlight
Follow a case from start to finish as it makes its way through various units of the FBI Laboratory. Every time you see the phrase, “How did they do that?” click on the link to read the details of how that unit processed the evidence.
Several funny, interactive CSI investigations with your virtual pet dog or cat. For the younger set from PBS Kids.
We’re Carolyn and Kalia, and we were having a birthday party for my sister Lizzy. Before the party began, we found Lizzy’s party set-up trashed; the cake was half-eaten, presents were thrown everywhere, and there was even some bright red stuff dripping off the table. We quickly shifted into detective mode, to try to solve the mystery of who ate the birthday cake. What evidence do you think tipped us off?
There has been a truck wreck. In fact, a different truck each time you play. Use the clues to help solve the mysteries of their cargo.
Mysteries to solve, scary stories, and magic tricks.
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NOVA Online | Killer’s Trail
Welcome to the companion Web site to the NOVA program “The Killer’s Trail,” in which a team of experts investigates the forensic evidence in the 1954 murder of Marylin Sheppard, one of the most famous unsolved crimes in the U.S.
What begins as an attempt to catch a stray dog quickly turns into an adventure of a lifetime for Watson, Crick and Rosalind. It is now up to you to help them catch the thief and get home by conducting experiments and analyzing the evidence. HELP! Time is critical, and they’re running out of it!
Who took a bite out of the candy? Sticky fingers have been found on the broken aquarium glass. Wet footprints lead to the open window. What is that powdery substance next to the broken piggy bank? Answering these questions is what forensic science is all about.
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Books About Forensic Science
40 Crime-Solving, Case-Breaking, Crook-Catching Activities for Kids
by Jim Wiese
Wiese offers readers the opportunity to delve into the world of crime detection and forensic science. Through 40 projects and experiments, youngsters are encouraged to develop their skills of observation and creative thinking; investigate the scene of a crime; analyze evidence by means of chemistry; use biology to learn more about a crime; and analyze documents to solve it. Each project includes an introduction, a materials list, step-by-step procedures, questions, and an explanation. For many of the projects there is also a “More Fun Stuff to Do” section for extending the investigation. Notes on the need for adult help and safety cautions appear in bold print. Scattered throughout the text are “Detective Science in Action” inserts that relate the science principles behind an activity to its use in solving real-life crimes.
Forensic Science for Kids
by Karen Schulz
More than 25 in-depth activities on fingerprinting, evidence collection, blood-stain identification, forensic careers, ballistics, and much more. Students will love collecting dental impressions, studying their classmates’ fingerprints, looking at tool marks left at the scene of the crime, analyzing mysterious powders, and discovering the various types of counterfeit checks. Each lesson includes a realistic case for students to crack using the knowledge they’ve learned about analyzing forensic evidence, and the book also includes an assessment assignment that teachers can employ to test their students’ learning.
Crime Scene Investigations:
Real-Life Science Activities for the Elementary Grades
by Pam Walker
What could be more exciting than turning your students into super sleuths to discover scientific principles and techniques? This unique resource for classroom science teachers gives students the chance to become crime scene investigators with 60 exciting lessons and activity sheets in earth, life, and physical science as well as science inquiry and technology.
Like real-life forensic scientists, students observe carefully, organize and record data, think critically, and conduct simple test to solve crimes ranging from theft and dog-napping to vandalism and water pollution. And for added fun, original cartoon character Investi Gator enlivens the pages as he sleuths his way through each new mystery, sifting evidence and observing details.
All 60 lessons and activities include complete background information with step-by-step procedures for the teacher and reproducible student worksheets. For easy use, all material is printed in a big spiral-bound format that fold flat for photocopying of any page as many times as needed and is organized into four convenient sections. For older kids, get Crime Scene Investigations: Real-Life Science Labs For Grades 6-12
Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments:
All Lab, No Lecture (Diy Science)
by Robert Bruce Thompson and Barbara Fritchman
Have you ever wondered whether the forensic science you’ve seen on TV is anything like the real thing? There’s no better way to find out than to roll up your sleeves and do it yourself. This full-color book offers advice for setting up an inexpensive home lab, and includes more than 50 hands-on lab sessions that deal with forensic science experiments in biology, chemistry, and physics. You’ll learn the practical skills and fundamental knowledge needed to pursue forensics as a lifelong hobby—or even a career.