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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It was a fun day for all. Children loved all the hands on discoveries and I took pleasure in seeing their faces light up. I loved the work presented!… Gee, makes me want to join the Mad About Science troop.

June 10, 2015

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Thank you for our session. The students were very engaged and lots of hands-on activities were provided. The content covered was very relevant to our unit focus. FANTASTIC!

February 2, 2016

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Great experiments that we could do again in the classroom. Students were very excited and engaged throughout the whole session. Suitable experiments for Prep aged children… Great price, and great that all resources were provided!

December 10, 2014

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