Using Chemistry to Solve the Crime:
Practice chemistry skills and critical thinking in these two highly-engaging activities.
Case I: (Spectral Analysis) A man has been found dead outside a cabin in the woods. Students will analyze the emission spectra of chemical elements to help identify unknown substances found at the cabin. They will then use their results to infer whether a crime took place. (Fictional case)
Case II: (Calculating Formula Mass) Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in 2004 for the arson deaths of his three small children. He asserted his innocence up until the moment of his death. Students will re-evaluate the evidence from the case to determine whether they believe Willingham was wrongfully accused. (Non-fiction case)
Each activity takes approximately one 1.5 hour class period.
The Wasp Whisperer