Digging Up a Crimeby: Wilella Burgess, Bill Bayley, Gerald H. Krockover, and Shelly Anne Witham

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Forensics can serve as the perfect vehicle for science exploration and learning. As part of a professional development workshop, teachers participated in a simulated archeological dig in which they had to make observations about the site, plan an excavation, gather their data, record their findings, and map the site. Teachers who participated in the Purdue workshop and learned about the following forensics activity created diverse activities and inquiry experiences tied to state and national standards for their students.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:25 AM

What a creative way to show students how the different disciplines of science are interrelated! I'm a little daunted about setting up a mock archeological dig. However, the author provides step by step instructions and templates for field book entries. I might try this with one of my classes.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:31 AM

This article is about a forensic science activity centers based around an archeological dig. Students who engage in this activity learn excavation, surveying, mapping, collection, and stratigraphic analysis while also engaging in scientific methods such as developing hypotheses, making observations, and making lots of observations. The article provides procedure suggestions, a data form, ideas about assessment and practical applications. A great twist on basic forensic activities.

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

  • on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:47 AM

This article gives an overview of how a teacher created an archaeological site for students to investigate in order to solve a crime. There is not a lot of detail in how the teacher prepared the site or how students investigated it.

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

  • on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:46 AM

The authors suggest integrating an anthropological dig site into units on forensic science. The provide details on how this could be done and why. They do not provide a lot of details as to what else might be included in such a unit. As a lesson, this is an intriguing idea and would add excitement and authenticity to a forensic unit if it is done well, and anthropology rather than current crimes does add a historical twist to forensics and opens up opportunities for interdisciplinary studies as well as the science. More details on the best ways to develop the site would have been helpful, however.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

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