Idea Bank: Forensics on a Shoestring Budget by: Joseph A. Greco

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In recent years, forensic science has gained popularity thanks in part to high-profile court cases and television programs. Although the cost of forensic equipment and supplies may initially seem too expensive for the typical high school classroom, the author developed an activity that incorporates forensics into the 10th-grade biology curriculum while staying within the budget. This activity involves estimating a time of death based on fictitious police and medical examiner reports. Students are challenged to apply their knowledge using inquiry in lieu of elaborate equipment or supplies.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:14 PM

This quick article gives a CSI type lesson on time of death and gives background information to accomplish the lesson.

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

  • on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:45 AM

As the popularity of forensic police shows like CSI gain popularity, students are becoming increasingly interested in forensic science. In this article, the author outlines a fantastic, and cost effective, forensics lesson. An example student activity sheet is included with the article. This is a fantastic exercise that is sure to engage students in biology as they become "Crime Scene Investigators".

Maureen Stover  (Seaside, CA)
Maureen Stover (Seaside, CA)

  • on Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:11 AM

This article is a short reference about how to determine time of death in a forensic science activity. The purpose of this article is to have high school students use known information about the process against a fictitious scenario that the teacher establishes. This is a short problem solving activity that sounds like fun and can be done without equipment. The article provides one sample story line and suggests a good source of information about this process.

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

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