Life Science

Forensic Science

Hi All: I'm teaching a forensic science course, and am looking for other teachers to share ideas in this subject area. My budget is not high, and I have limited facilities for such a field, but some experience in the area, as I was a forensic anthropologist before I became a high school teacher. Anyone else out there dealing with this subject area, please drop me a line. I've attached a copy of my syllabus as a general conversation starter. If anyone else out there has a syllabus to share, I'd appreciate a gander at it, to see what topics I may be overlooking. In addition, lab ideas are always welcome! Peace, John John Giacobbe, BS, MA Science Department South Pointe High School Phoenix, AZ 85042 email: jgiacobbe_southpointe@cox.net web: http://www.nakedscience.org/mrg

Attachments

John Giacobbe
John Giacobbe
465 Activity Points

John, You might be interested in the resources at this site http://www.nclark.net/Forensics

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68535 Activity Points

Hi! I have looked at your syllabus and it is impressive. I worked with a fingerprinting expert to create a set of kits for a science supply company that delt with may aspects of forensic science. My students at the time were trying things out and commenting on what worked and what didn't work. Students loved this area of learning and didn't realize they were developing their problem solving skills. I have attached my collection of Forensic Science materials from the LC library. They represent articles and chapters from various sources within the LC. I have taught science 6-12 over many years and sometimes using materials from the lower grades provided confidence for the seniors. Also, I found one article in particular about low cost forensic science labs. I hope this is useful to you.


Forensic Science Collection
(16 items)
Dem Bones
     -Journal Article
Accidental Drowning or Foul Play?
     -Journal Article
Favorite Demonstration: Forensic Analysis Demonstration via Hawaii Five-O
     -Journal Article

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

Hi, I am posting a forensics collection from my Learning Center Library, which I downloaded courtesy the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago. A few of the wonderful educators from MSI presented at the NSTA National Conference in Philly last March, and the items in this collection are from the disc they distributed to participants. Hopefully you will find some of it helpful. Sue


Forensics from Museum of Science and Industry Collection
(27 items)
Dusting_for_Fingerprints.pdf
     -User Uploaded Resource
Fingerprinting_NSTA_Conference.pdf
     -User Uploaded Resource
Blood_Splatter_MSI_NSTA_Conference.pdf
     -User Uploaded Resource

Susanne Hokkanen
Susanne Hokkanen
79060 Activity Points

While I"m not teaching a forsensic course I do enjoy bringing forensics into my MS classroom. I'm not sure what level you are teaching but if you haven't gotten you hands on the MS Level Prentice Hall Forensic textbook you should. Even if you aren't teaching the MS level and don't want to use a textbook I think that it is a really good base. Also, do a search for Crime Scene Kids, they have a very good basic crime scene kit that I do with my 7th graders over 2-3 days. Cristina

Cristina Conciatori
Cristina Conciatori
1770 Activity Points

Dear Pamela, Adah, Susanne, and Cristina : Thanks so much for your ideas and resources! They have all been useful and interesting, and I appreciate the tips and lab ideas especially. Have a good year! John

John Giacobbe
John Giacobbe
465 Activity Points

I'd like to add an article that Susanne may have overlooked, although it is a great collection. I thought it might be interesting with your prior career as an archeaologist.

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Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67935 Activity Points

Sorry, the last post did not attach the file. Here goes again...

Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67935 Activity Points

Sorry, the last post did not attach the file. Here goes again...


Forensics Collection
(1 item)
Digging Up a Crime
     -Journal Article

Forensics Collection
(1 item)
Digging Up a Crime
     -Journal Article

Jennifer Rahn
Jennifer Rahn
67935 Activity Points

Thanks Jennifer!

John Giacobbe
John Giacobbe
465 Activity Points

by John Giacobbe, Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:35 AM [i]I'm teaching a forensic science course, and am looking for other teachers to share ideas in this subject area. My budget is not high, and I have limited facilities for such a field, but some experience in the area, as I was a forensic anthropologist before I became a high school teacher. [/i] Hi John, Thanks for sharing your syllabus! Your students are sure to benefit not only from your preparation, but also from your experience as a forensic anthropologist. Here are a few more resources that may help you in your planning/lesson execution: http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classforsci.html'' target="_blank">http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classforsci.html' target="_blank">http://sciencespot.net/Pages/classforsci.html" target="_blank">The Science Spot Forensic Science Lesson Plans - This website has various lesson plans relating to Forensic Science. Several of the lesson plans correlate directly to your syllabus http://nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552707'' target="_blank">http://nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552707' target="_blank">http://nsta.org/store/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552707" target="_blank">Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! - This is an NSTA Press book that is available in both print and e-book format. I've attached a sample chapter so you can get an idea of the lesson content and format of the book. http://nsta.org/publications/press/extras/forensics.aspx'' target="_blank">http://nsta.org/publications/press/extras/forensics.aspx' target="_blank">http://nsta.org/publications/press/extras/forensics.aspx" target="_blank">Using Forensics : Wildlife Crime Scene! student hand outs - These are the student hand out pages, available on the NSTA website, for use with Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! I also included a Forensic Science Resources collection with some interesting journal articles. Have fun with your new class! Maureen

Attachments

Forensic Science Resources Collection
(4 items)
Trial by Science: A Forensic Extravaganza
     -Journal Article
Partners in Crime: Integrating Forensic Science and Writing
     -Journal Article
Science Sampler: CSI web adventures—A forensics virtual apprenticeship for teaching science and inspiring STEM careers
     -Journal Article

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
41030 Activity Points

Susanne: Thank you for those articles. They are great. Christina mentions 7th grade students and their love for Forensics science. I taught 8th grade and I used Forensics to teach biology and chemistry. As a CSI groupie myself (if I can’t watch the show I tape it on the DVR for later.) I find that kids get caught up with the shows also. But I also show them the Discovery Health Channel: Forensic show: http://health.discovery.com/tv/dr-g-medical-examiner/ I want the kids to know that stuff doesn’t always happen in 58 minutes minus commercial time. This was the hardest part to get them to understand. I also use Forensics to show them that there are jobs in the future using the sciences that can also be fun. There are also NASA SciFiles such as The Case of the Powerful Pulleys http://scifiles.larc.nasa.gov/docs/guides/guide1_02.pdf that puts things in a mystery solving situation but not just biology problems. GEMS has several books as well that relate to Forensics. One is on fingerprinting and the other is a complete layout for a crime scene and I believe there is an elementary version and a middle school version that can be used.

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

Hi John and Everybody, John, that was a syllabus to behold! I am sharing it with my university elementary ed students. Your reference to college work expectations is well put and will serve as a reminder to MY students of the importance of doing quality work! A few years ago, I was part of a summer science project through the labs in Livermore, CA. We did a forensic science mock crime scene scenario that was based on the scientists involved in the Manhatten Project. It was a great way to integrate history with science. Also, when I was teaching 7th grade, one of our Lake County Crime Scene Investigators came to class and shared his expertise. Of course, your students have the real thing as their teacher. Kudoos for such an interesting course. I wish I were able to attend!!! I just want to mention how exciting it is to receive all of these great resources from each of you that has shared in this discussion thread. All your collective ideas are outstanding! Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Hi John - Great topic! As a wildilfe ecologist by training, I like to incorporate a Wildlife CSI (Forensics) approach when teaching biotechnology. There are some great applications of forensics techniques to solving crimes against endangered wildlife species. This ties in biotechnology with biodiversity conservation. There is a major center in the US that works on wildlife forensics cases: The National Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Lab in Ashland, OR. http://www.lab.fws.gov/ Some midwest wildife forensic cases also go to the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, WI. http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/information_desk/history/ I recently purchased a copy of the NSTA press book Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552707 Maureen Stover also mentioned this resource in an earlier post to this discussion. I'm eager to review it and possibly implement it in the classroom. There is currently a free chapter from this book on "Hair Identification" available to review at http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9780873552707.L5 Wildlife related topics often are very engaging and hold great interest for students, so it might be fun for you to "mix-in" some wildlife forensics topics into your syllabus. Dorothy Ginnett

Dorothy Ginnett
Dorothy Ginnett
28185 Activity Points

Hi John and other Forensic Thread readers,
I'm so glad you initiated this discussion. Through reading the engaging ideas and book chapters I understand how easily it would be to tie-in Forensics throughout other science disciplines.

After reading and visiting the suggested links, I conducted a search on our NSTA site and discovered that NSTA has teamed with Court TV to develop free curriculum units on forensic science for middle and high school students. "It's Magic," "The Cafeteria Caper," and other cases help students solve intriguing mysteries by using real science, including biology, chemistry, and physics.

Forensics in the Classroom includes not only five forensic cases but also accompanying labs, video clips, engaging student activites and additional reference links.

This site gives me one more reason to explore and expose my students to the World of Forensics Science!

Alyce

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

Hi John and thread readers,
This is such a high interest topic for our students; it is good to find ways to integrate it into general science curriculum, too. Alyce, I love the resource you found on the NSTA website. When I did a search I missed that one. Thank you so much.
I also found a couple of Science Teacher articles that might have already been posted earlier, but I couldn't get the earlier thread attachments to open. In case anyone else had that same problem. Here are these two:
Forensics on a Shoestring and Using Science Forensic Science Problems as Teaching Tools.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
86483 Activity Points

Outstanding Carolyn! thank you for sharing additional links. That is why thread discussions are so vital to my content knowledge and teaching support. We will often miss out on valuable support materials if we are in a different area of NSTA's site or might search with a term or word that does not show the same results as the day before. I have not taught forensics before - but I do want to pilot a few of the materials and investigations this spring with my sophomores. Do any of you happen to have a sequence of investigations or skills - does it make a difference when approaching this topic? I would even appreciate a copy of a syllabus you may have put together or video clips that you have used. Thank you for sharing, Alyce

Alyce Dalzell
Alyce Dalzell
64075 Activity Points

Carolyn and I have been chatting about the free Raven Lite software available from e-bird and Cornell and this led to sharing with this Forensics thread, too. You can visit the Vernier website, http//www.vernier.com and download free labs from all content areas. One very popular area is the Forensics curriculum book. Some of the case files are based on using computer technology and software, but some may be modified to be used with a pencil and paper data table or a calculator and one is neat to use with Raven Lite. http://www.vernier.com/cmat/cmatdnld.html Sample Labs Get a sample of Vernier curriculum with free downloadable experiments from our popular lab books. Download Sample Labs » Forensics – Case 1: Tracks of a Killer – using footprints to estimate height Case File 3: Name That Tune: Matching musical tones through waveform analysis (Try using Raven Lite and modifying this inquiry.) Just sharing another free resource available to creative teaching. ~patty I uploaded the two files and attached them to this reply. Thanks for the cognitive knock, Carolyn :=)

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Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

All, I have been reading through the posts here and have collected some wonderful ideas, not just for forensic classes. I am always looking for was to create labs with real world application and I have some great ideas for chemistry labs. Thanks so much to all involved

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68535 Activity Points

Hi Pamela, We surely would love to have your share your ideas a bit more. Can you articulate how you would use some of the materials mentioned or give us an idea of what you would do for your chem classes. Sharing you 'master-teacher' ideas with your colleagues would be cool. I, personally, would love to know moreso that I could share more. Thanks a bunch for replying when you have an opportunity to be more specific. Wow! This thread really blossomed. Thanks everyone! ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Thanks so much for the syllabus, John. I downloaded it so I can upload it into my personal NSTA library of resources to share with others. Is there one part of the content that students love more than another? ~patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Thanks for the awesome activities and information! I have added this information to my personal files and library. I am excited because I start teaching Forensics next month on Saturdays! Liz

Elizabeth Dalzell-Wagers
Elizabeth Dalzell
9945 Activity Points

Hi Liz, Your post is intriguing. What will you be doing on Saturdays? Will you be working with children in an informal or formal way? What is the content level and what tools and technologies will you have at your disposal? Please share this educational story with us. Thanks a bunch. ~ patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

Hi all, I am currently in the process of helping set up a Summer Bridge program for the incoming freshman to Maui High. The team and I need to integrate math and English into this program and of course make it fun. The idea behind this program is to make the transition into high school easier for incoming freshman. Oddly enough we are centering the program around forensic science and integrating math and English. The program will only be two weeks this summer and I could use any curriculum ideas with a forensics base with math and English integrated in for 8-9 level. Thank you true, David

David Lanning
David Lanning
1065 Activity Points

Hi David, Your bridge project sounds like a wonderful way to introduce students to high school and forensics is an exciting topic that grabs student attention these days. Check out some of the forensics references that have been posted on this thread and please give a holler about what types of activities you wish to consider. I am sure that other teachers on this thread will add their voices. I have a question - what technology will be available to the students to gather and to analyze data? Go ahead and share more of your goals with us so that we can be a more cooperative group. Your venture sounds enticing and I, for one, would like to learn more about it. We could work together to put together a list or a collection of forensic inquiry for you to review. I look forward to hearing from you. Oh, what content areas do you have in mind for forensics activities? Patty

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

David, I did a quick search and found a variety of NSTA resources that appear with the search word 'forensics.' Some are books or chapters and others are journal articles. Many of the items are free if you are an NSTA member. I'll list them below for you to consider. Also a few of them have been reviewed and rank very highly. Check out the HAWAII 5-O reference :} patty Using Forensics: Wildlife Crime Scene! By: Laura M. Sanders Arndt Grade Level: Middle School, High School Idea Bank: Forensics on a Shoestring Budget By: Joseph A. Greco Grade Level: High School Science Sampler: CSI web adventures—A forensics virtual apprenticeship for teaching science and inspiring STEM careers By: Leslie Miller, Ching-I Chang, and Daniel Hoyt Grade Level: Middle School, Informal Education Using Forensics Science Problems As Teaching Tools By: Kanesa Duncan and Toby Daly-Engel Grade Level: High School Who Stole the Doughnuts? An Interdisciplinary Forensics Unit By: Stephanie Boles Grade Level: Middle School Lesson 5: Hair Identification By: Laura M. Sanders Arndt Grade Level: Middle School, High Digging Up a Crime By: Shelly Anne Witham, Gerald H. Krockover, Wilella Burgess, and Bill Bayley Grade Level: High School Favorite Demonstration: Forensic Analysis Demonstration via Hawaii Five-O By: Brian R. Shmaefsky Grade Level: College CLSI: Cool Life Science Investigations By: Florence F. McCann, Edmund A. Marek, Jon E. Pederson, and Carell Falsarella Grade Level: Elementary School

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45915 Activity Points

by David Lanning, Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:29 PM
I am currently in the process of helping set up a Summer Bridge program for the incoming freshman to Maui High. The team and I need to integrate math and English into this program and of course make it fun. The idea behind this program is to make the transition into high school easier for incoming freshman. Oddly enough we are centering the program around forensic science and integrating math and English. The program will only be two weeks this summer and I could use any curriculum ideas with a forensics base with math and English integrated in for 8-9 level.

Hi David,
What a a great opportunity to teach a forensics summer bridge program! Patty provided you with several great resource from the NSTA library. One way that I've integrated language arts into science is by using science journals. The journals not only give the students authentic writing practice, but also help them learn to write technically. I've also had great success in integrating literacy and science. I've attached a few NSTA resources for your reference. Best of luck with your summer program! Be sure to post back here to let us know how it is progressing!

Best of Luck,
Maureen

Maureen Stover
Maureen Stover
41030 Activity Points

My first career was as a Law Enforcement officer. There is an intrinsic interest students have about the whole field of forensics. One aspect that is often forgotten is, "What do I do with the information and skills now that I have them?" This is a wonderful opportunity to introduce students to careers in Law Enforcement that tie in with having a background in Science. The History Channel has put out several videos I have used with my middle school students to give them an idea what a career in the Federal Law Enforcment could look like. Two of my favorites are "Inside the FBI" and "Quantico: FBI's Crime Lab". Others students have enjoyed include: "G-man: Making of an FBI Agent", and "Inside the CIA". National Geographic has put out videos on "Inside the U.S. Secret Service" and "Inside the DEA". DK Eyewitness books also published a wonderful book entitled "Forensic Science" that provides a great background for students on forensics as a Science. This is one book I have a hard time keeping on the bookshelf because students have a strong desire to know more. Each of the chapters are short and to the point, providing information in a very succinct way so kids are more successful when they experience the labs throughout my unit.

Sandy Gady
Sandy Gady
43095 Activity Points

I've used scenes from a series of books written to help mystery writers get their facts straight even if they don't have a background in criminology. Cause of Death : A Writer's Guide to Death, Murder, and Forensic Medicine and Scene of the Crime: A Writer's Guide to Crime Scene Investigation are two of the titles that may help. The series is called the Howdunit Series.

I'd also consider using a popular read for the kids that you could all read together and relate it to the forensic study. Who Really Killed Cock Robin? is probably too young, but how about something older, even Agatha Christie.

Some exciting-looking nonfiction books for young people are:


    Five-Minute Mysteries
    Bone Detective: The Story Of Forensic Anthropologist Diane France (Women's Adventures in Science)
    Gut-Eating Bugs: Maggots Reveal the Time of Death! (24/7: Science Behind the Scenes: Forensic Files)



I'm excited about this. Please keep us informed!

Ann Allison Cooke
Allison Cooke
6380 Activity Points

Nancy Clark has assembled an interesting list of resources at her website. http://www.nclark.net/ForensicChem#Activities I wonder how she finds time. Here website is outstanding

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68535 Activity Points

Hi All! Has anyone given thought to the field of Forensic Anthropology. I am a reader of Reich's book and the series on TV around her books called Bones. An article such as "Straight from the Mouths of Horses and Tapirs: Using Fossil Teeth to Clarify How Ancient Environments Have Changed Over Time" might be an interesting approach to scientific inquiry as this article eludes to. You might want to look at Nova's "Wanted-Butch and Sundance" http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/teachers/activities/2011_butch.html This activity will help students think like forensic anthropologists. Just a thought.

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

I found this awesome website which lists more forensic science activities that I feel would help out a number of people. http://www.nclark.net/Forensics Enjoy!

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101510 Activity Points

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