Your students will love this activity! Stoichiometry, chemical formulas, empirical formulas, and percent composition will soon be your students favorite topics after they complete this lesson.
The purpose of this lab is to help students understand how percent composition data can be used to solve criminal investigations. This particular case involves a murder on a plane shortly before the plane ends up crashing. Students must correctly identify the murderer, the murder victim, and the criminal who brought down the plane. The students must also identify the identity of each of the passengers based on the chemical residues found in their belongings.
In order to make things more interesting for the students, the passengers are all popular celebrities (Beyonce, Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Meagan Fox, etc.). Personal, biographical details about each of the celebrities is included to help students identify the passengers. I created this lesson in 2012, so if you would prefer more recent celebrities please feel free to modify the airplane passengers to fit your needs.
A detailed answer key is provided to assist you in grading the activity.
Since this packet contains very detailed instructions for the students, it could be given as a sub assignment, take home project, or snow day activity. It also makes a wonderful cooperative learning assignment but would also be nice as chapter/topic cumulative assessment.
This project is based on "The Strange Case of Mole Airlines Flight 1023" by Karl F Jones of Newman Smith High School originally published in the Journal Chemical Education vol 80 no 4 (April 2003).