Outreach Workshop: Crime Lab
Students are immersed in the intriguing world of forensics as they work together to solve a mock crime. Examine evidence, confirm (or refute) your suspicions and ask lots of questions. Crime Lab workshops require that participants be approximately the same age and/or reading level.
Fees are determined by distance from the Museum:
- Within 25 miles: $340
- 26-50 miles: $370
- 51+ miles: $370 + $.54 per mile
- Each additional hour: $125
Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations, Science v.1.09
- Communicate and present findings of observations and investigations. (S.IA.04.13)
- Use data/samples as evidence to separate fact from opinion. (S.RS.04.14)
- Evaluate data, claims, and personal knowledge through collaborative science discourse. (S.IA.05.12)
- Use multiple sources of information to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of claims, arguments, or data. (S.IA.05.15)
- Identify the need for evidence in making scientific decisions. (S.RS.06.13)
- Generate scientific questions based on observations, investigations, and research. (S.IP.07.11)
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 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.
- 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.
- CIA’s Homepage for Kids
- Secrets of the Dead From Krakatoa to Hindenburg, scientific sleuths attempt to solve the greatest mysteries of the past.
- FBI’s Kids page includes information, tips and games
- The Science of Crime: The Why Files’ forensic science pages