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This activity is designed to be conducted over a period of several weeks. My plan is to set aside "CSI" time every Friday. I am doing this with my 5th grade students but it can be applied with older students as well.
Students are introduced to a scenario in which the school science lab has been broken into and thousands of dollars worth of equipment has been broken and/or stolen. The police know that the criminal used a key to get in so it must be a teacher from the school! Students will start by learning the basics about crime scenes: photographing, sketching, collecting and analyzing.
The students are then tasked with looking at different items found at the crime scene such as equipment with fingerprints, hair evidence and fiber evidence. Students will use all of this evidence to determine who the crook is. In the second part of the unit they will engineer a contraption to either 1) catch the criminal in the act or 2) detect if someone has entered the building. Within this zip folder you will receive the following documents:
- Engineering Instructions - Outlines the materials the teacher will be providing, how long they will have to build and a reminder of what their task is for this scenario.
- Fiber Observations - This is a worksheet that students will use when examining the different fiber samples with their eye and with the microscope.
Hair Observations - Similar to the fiber worksheet but for the hair samples found at the scene.
Intro Notes - These fill in the blank notes go over how to photograph a crime scene, how to sketch a crime scene, how to collect evidence and how to label evidence appropriately.
- PowerPoint - This PowerPoint goes over all the key facts and information for this unit of study such as fingerprint analysis, hair analysis, collecting evidence, how to sketch the scene, fiber analysis, etc.
- An Arrest Warrant and Example Arrest Warrant - This is where students will write out an arrest warrant for the suspect they think committed the crime. They will need to back up their claim with evidence from the case study.
- Teacher Materials - What you need for the whole case study.
- Student Materials - A worksheet that can be given to students to remind them about what materials they have available to use.
- Suspect Cards - This is a blank template that can be used to record key information on your suspects (teachers) such as a photograph, fingerprints, clothing they wore, their alibi, etc.
- Scenario - This is the "introduction" sheet you will provide to the students.
- Scenario 2 – This introduces the second part of the unit – the engineering task.
- List of Clues - Details what clues need to be provide as reference samples and what clues need to be placed at the crime scene.
- Outline - Discusses a week to week schedule, what the students will learn about, an overview of the case and additional resources that can be used.
- Evidence Labels - These labels are meant to be printed on a 30 label sheet. These are the labels that students will put on each one of their evidence tubs/envelopes/containers.