Forensic Science Investigation

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A who-dunnit circus of activities

Lesson idea. These five lab activities have an investigative slant in a ‘real world’ context and introduce:

  • the science topic ’acids and bases’ by measuring the pH of soil found on a crime suspect’s shoe,
  • the technique of chromatography, by comparing the ink from a pen at the crime scene with ink owned by a suspect - chromatography is used in work to distinguish between mixtures and compounds,
  • human variation by comparing a suspect’s thumbprint with that found at the crime scene - fingerprinting has often been used as a starter, activity for discussing what we inherit from our parents,
  • the topic ’acids and bases’ in an activity where pupils measure the acidity of household liquids and classify them accordingly.

Teaching approach. This lesson introduces inquiry(ta)-based learning through the topic of forensic science. It engages pupils in higher order(ta) reasoning(ta) solving a variety of forensic problems. (edit)

Resource details
Title Forensic Science Investigation
Topic Acids
Teaching approach
Learning Objectives
  • Introducing the idea of acids and bases.
  • Using evidence to support conclusions.
  • Potentially introducing young students to working in a lab with a 'real' purpose.
Age of students / grade

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