Being a Forensic Scientist Incursion (Levels 5 & 6)

Theme: Science as a Human Endeavour
Levels: 5 & 6

Students will work through a variety of procedures similar to a forensic scientist. They will interpret their recorded data and develop an understanding of how evidence is used to solve a crime.

Activities

  • Discuss the many roles scientists and technology play in crime investigation.
  • Examine the crime scene set up in your classroom.
  • Identify key clues.
  • Discuss physical characteristics of 4 suspects in relation to profiling.
  • Perform chemical tests to identify a variety of powders.
  • Use chromatography to test inks from writing samples and pens found on suspects.
  • Match actual footprints found at the crime scene to soles of shoes.
  • Observe and match DNA samples.
  • Create a set of individual fingerprints and examine patterns.
  • Debate the validity of the evidence against the 4 suspects present.

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Victorian Curriculum: Content Descriptions

Science

  • Scientific understandings, discoveries and inventions are used to inform personal and community decisions and to solve problems that directly affect people’s lives (VCSSU073)
  • With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be based on previous experiences or general rules (VCSIS082)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation types to answer questions or solve problems and use equipment, technologies and materials safely, identifying potential risks (VCSIS083)
  • Decide which variables should be changed, measured and controlled in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data (VCSIS084)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to record, represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data (VCSIS085)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (VCSIS086)
  • Suggest improvements to the methods used to investigate a question or solve a problem (VCSIS087)
  • Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships (VCSIS088)

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