Project Description

Forensic Detective

Can you crack the case and catch the thief!? Use real forensic science techniques, like pH tests, handwriting analysis, fingerprint dusting and more to pin-point the culprit.

  • Level: Suitable for Level 3 to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 90 minute format only.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

Learning Outcomes

  • Forensic scientists assist police in solving crimes.

  • Forensics scientists use many different scientific techniques to analyse evidence found at crime scenes.

  • Techniques used by forensic scientists include: fingerprint and footprint analysis, ink chromatography, blood analysis as well as testing the chemical properties of substances, such as pH, solubility and acid-base reactions.

  • The results of laboratory tests and analysis by forensic scientists can be used as evidence in a court case.

  • Logic can be used to determine the most likely scenario when a range of possibilities are available.

Activities

  • Students are presented with a fictitious crime scenario, four suspects, and with evidence found at the scene. Students must complete a series of forensic analysis tasks and use their results to identify the guilty suspect.

  • Students produce suspect profiles based on information gathered by detectives and discuss possible motives for committing the crime.

  • Students perform a range of tests and record observations to determine the nature of a powder found at the crime scene.

  • Students record all their findings and data on a sheet for consideration.

  • Students use chromatography to figure out which pen was used to write a note found at the crime scene.

  • Students examine suspects’ shoes to determine who left their footprint at the crime scene.

  • Using a black light, students learn about fingerprint details to identify the fingerprints left at the crime scene.

  • Students learn about luminol and how it can be used to find bodily fluids.

  • Putting all the evidence together, students make logical arguments for who they believe committed the crime.

Victorian Curriculum Links

  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives  (VCSSU073)

  • Solids, liquids and gases behave in different ways and have observable properties that help to classify them (VCSSU076)

  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation types to answer questions or solve problems and use equipment, technologies and materials safely, identifying potential risks (VCSIS083)

NSW Curriculum Links

  • Identifies that objects are made of materials that have observable properties (STe-4MW-ST)

  • Plans and uses materials, tools and equipment to develop solutions for a need or opportunity (ST3-2DP-T)

Australian Curriculum Links

  • Scientific knowledge is used to solve problems and inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE083)

  • Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways (ACSSU077)

  • Identify, plan and apply the elements of scientific investigations to answer questions and solve problems using equipment and materials safely and identifying potential risks (ACSIS103)

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SCHOOL FEEDBACK

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Anneliese engaged the students really well. They were thrilled to be able to take home snow and the UV bead keyring.

Kangaloon Public School Wicked Weather March 22, 2021

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Lisa from Mad About Science is absolutely brilliant (so is the whole team really!). She was amazing with the kids, great with our kids with additional needs and just ran the experiments in a wonderfully fun and interactive way. I couldn’t recommend Mad About Science highly enough.

Etelka Ronc Birthday Party March 20, 2021

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Dale was fantastic! The students were so engaged and loved the range of activities he did with them. Thank you for an excellent, informative and fun day!

Living Faith Primary School Natural Disasters January 21, 2021

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