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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Just letting you know how much the children enjoyed the incursion yesterday. Steph did a great job! Happy kids, happy teachers!

August 26, 2015

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The session was terrific with Gemma engaging and humouring the kids throughout! A nice introduction to a variety of scientific concepts as well. So a very successful session. Many Thanks!

February 2, 2016

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Steph was enthusiastic and knowledgable. She asked the children really great questions and explained everything at their level.

February 2, 2016

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