Favorite Demonstration: Forensic Analysis Demonstration via Hawaii Five-Oby: Brian R. Shmaefsky

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The interdisciplinary nature of a forensics-based demonstration encourages science majors to move beyond their own narrow fields of study. The demonstration described in this column emphasizes the interconnectedness of biology, chemistry, and geology. Forensic-based demonstrations such as this can also be used to introduce the protocols governing the application of discipline specific information to other fields of study.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:43 PM

This article is a quick read on how to do a soil analysis demonstration with easy to locate materials. It introduces students to the science of forensics in an engaging way.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:36 AM

Students are asked to determine the origins of soil from three different sites in the islands of Hawaii. Students generate a story to explain how the samples were collected. They perform three different tests on the samples and using their understanding of geology and chemistry and the results of three forensic tests they determine the origin of each of the samples. This is a guided inquiry activity with a novel twist. The forensic science approach to soil makes it different from the traditional forensic activities. The author provides all that is necessary to duplicate this activity in the classroom. This is a good Earth Science activity.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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