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  • STEM at Home

    Discover science and connect to the natural world while staying safe and healthy at home!

    Check out our virtual programming schedule and browse through our list of resources, activities, crafts, videos, and more to help continue to bring science into your world.

  • Field Trip

    More than 250 interactive science, technology, energy and health exhibits await students of all ages.  We’re experts at making sure that bringing your group to the Museum is smooth sailing all the way. Discounted admission for groups of 20 or more!

  • ScienceWorks

    Your students become scientists during our ScienceWorks Labs. All programs align with National Science Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations and Common Core State Standards. Labs are available year-round for preschool to middle school students and are led by an instructor.

  • Outreach

    Our Outreach staff brings the Museum to you—at schools, libraries, community centers, and festivals—by delivering hands-on programming customized to your schedule and curriculum interests.

  • Distance Learning

    Experience live, interactive Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum programs right in your classroom! Our educators use videoconferencing technology to share science and math activities with your students, engaging them in a dynamic, hands-on learning experience.

  • Scouts

    The best place for Scouts to explore STEAM! 

  • Summer Camp

    Through the Unity in Learning partnership, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, Leslie Science & Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum now offer families incredible day camps at two fantastic locations in Ann Arbor and Belleville.

  • Birthday Parties

    What do you get when you mix one part science, one part fun, and one part celebration? A birthday party at the Museum! Experience a birthday full of discovery by exploring more than 250 exhibits and experimenting with a hands-on activity. Celebrate in a unique and interactive environment to make your special day really special!

  • Evening Workshops

    Want to dive deeply into specific topics? Join us for an Evening Workshop! Explore a variety of science concepts through hands-on activities, interactive demos, and experiments in a small group setting. Topics vary from stop-motion animation to computer programming to engineering – there’s sure to be something that piques your interest!

Back to Programs


Outreach Workshop: Crime Lab

We'll use science to brush up on our logical thinking and problem solving skills as students are immersed in the intriguing world of forensics. They'll need to work together to solve our mock crime.

Fees are determined by distance from the Museum:

  • Within 25 miles: $500
  • 26-50 miles: $530
  • 51+ miles: $530 + $.58 per mile
  • Each additional hour: $125

Register today!

Michigan K-12 Science Standards


Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Pre-visit Vocabulary

Accomplice: Second person associated with committing a crime.

Alibi: Statement of where a suspect was at the time of a crime.

Antibody: Substance produced by the immune system to help destroy foreign substances in the body.

Antigen: Protein marker on the outside of cells.

Charity: Giving of gifts or money.

Chromatography: Process used to separate the parts of a mixture.

Dactylography: Study of fingerprints.

Estate: A large piece of land with a large house on it.

Forensic science: Field of science involved in analyzing evidence.

Fraud: Attempting to trick or deceive.

Jury: People selected to hear a trial and determine guilt or innocence.

Solute: Substance being dissolved.

Solvent: Substance that dissolves another substance.

Suspect: Person thought to be capable of committing a crime.

Post-visit Activity

Post-visit activities provide your students with an opportunity to review workshop-presented concepts and introduce related subjects. Below you will find a classroom extension activity and a list of suggested resources for further exploration. We hope that you enjoyed our Outreach Hands-On Workshop and we look forward to visiting your students again!

Extend your experience with the Crime Lab into other areas of your curriculum by trying one or more of the following ideas!

  • Using the Crime Lab Data Sheets completed during the workshop, have small groups of students work together to make graphs and/or charts to represent the data they collected.
  • Have students make up their own mysteries alone or in small groups. Mysteries might be written as short stories or as plays to perform for the class.
  • Take your class on a field trip to a local crime lab, or invite a police detective, forensic scientist, or person in a related occupation to come to class, make a brief presentation and answer student questions about their work. Ask the presenter to explain the scientific basis for what they do.
  • Encourage students to read mysteries — literature that stimulates logical thinking processes and problem solving skills can extend the learning done in the Crime Lab class to mathematics, language arts, social studies and other areas.

Suggested Resources


  • Butler, William Vivian. The Kid Detective Handbook. Little, Brown & Company, Boston, MA. 1995.
  • Jones, Charlotte Foltz. Fingerprints and Talking Bones: How Real Life Crimes Are Solved. Yearling Books. 1999.
  • Rainis, Kenneth G. Crime-Solving Science Projects: Forensic Science Experiments. Enslow Publishers, Inc. 2000.
  • Silverstein, Herman. Threads of Evidence: Using Forensic Science to Solve Crimes. Twenty First Century Books. 1997.
  • Walker, Pam and Elaine Wood. Crime Scene Investigations: Real-Life Science Activities for the Elementary Grades. The Center for Applied Research in Education. West Nyack, NY. 1999.
  • Walker, Pam and Elaine Wood. Crime Scene Investigations: Real-Life Science Activities for Grades 6–12. The Center for Applied Research in Education. West Nyack, NY. 1999.




Library, School

90 minutes

3-5th, 6-8th


Natural Sciences, Physical Sciences, Writing

Still not sure we have the experience you want?

Visit unityinlearning.org to open a gateway to hands-on discovery, exploration of the natural world, and experiences that take flight.

Through the Unity in Learning partnership with the Ann Arbor Hands-On MuseumLeslie Science and Nature Center, and Yankee Air Museum we provide over 100 different  programs at our facilities, on site at your location, or through interactive video conferencing.