Forensic science

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By Peter Riley

Produce stories with science skills and knowledge, using the framing theme of forensic science.

A victim has been killed somewhere in the school and your class must discover the true identity of the killer!

In this investigation the police letters alphabet is used to identify the suspects: Alpha, Charlie, Juliet, Mike, Oscar and Tango. However, you could substitute names for these letters for any story that you construct.

Setting up the crime scene

Crime scene 1

Before the children arrive, set up a crime scene with the following features:
  • An outline of a body in white tape
  • A message written on filter paper saying ‘Meet me at ten o’clock’ in ink from pen A (see below)
  • Two footprints made by wax rubbing the soles of two different shoes (shoes D and F – see below)
  • A soil sample (from soil type B – see below)
  • A piece of fabric from an item of clothing (fabric C – see below)
  • a large piece of paper with a ‘blood’ spatter (made by dropping an object from 25 cm height – see below)

Forensics table

This table refers to types of each material listed under the separate sections in the article below.

Setting up the investigation room

Groups of children can take turns at working at the following tables and floor space to find out ‘who done it’.

Table 1– Chromatography analysis

Crime scene 2

Use the following pens as each suspect’s pen, so that the children record two matches (see the table at the start of the article).
  • Alpha – pen A
  • Charlie – pen A
  • Juliet – pen B
  • Mike – pen C
  • Oscar – pen D
  • Tango – pen E
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