Science Sleuths: Solving Mysteries Using Scientific Investigations

Overview

Building on the growing interest in crime stories, the three cases featured in Science Sleuths: Solving Mysteries Using Scientific Inquiry merge science and literacy as students are required to be critical and active readers as they conduct their investigation. Beginning with an evaluation of the crime scene reproductions, student investigators will analyze lab reports, phone messages, and interviews to extract key information.

Students will sort through the evidence to ...

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Overview

Building on the growing interest in crime stories, the three cases featured in Science Sleuths: Solving Mysteries Using Scientific Inquiry merge science and literacy as students are required to be critical and active readers as they conduct their investigation. Beginning with an evaluation of the crime scene reproductions, student investigators will analyze lab reports, phone messages, and interviews to extract key information.

Students will sort through the evidence to formulate their initial hypothesis as they work to identify the person responsible for each crime. Additional case information requires students to reformulate their initial hypothesis until they arrive at a final conclusion.

The students' final write-up consists of a chart explaining the means, motive, and opportunity for each of the suspects in addition to a thorough analysis of the evidence and a recreation of the case. Eventually students are able to determine which suspect should be charged with the crime!

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Marilyn Brien
Forensics is a popular topic for students and adults. This professional resource uses this field to develop skills in scientific inquiry. The book features three activities in which students, working in groups or individually, analyze the evidence presented to them to solve a case. The activities are keyed to national standards for scientific inquiry. The tasks for 3-4 days of activities, culminating in a final essay, assist the teacher in planning the solution. A rubric for assessing all three of the activities rates the final essay in terms of completeness, accuracy, appearance, and group cooperation. The topic is similar to the recently reviewed Science Fair Winners: Crime Scene Science (National Geographic, 2009/VOYA April 2010), but the participation by students is very different. Rather than hands-on laboratory activities, this book focuses on analysis of evidence that has already been completed. Emphasizing laboratory procedures, each scenario in this resource is analyzed with much greater depth and scope than the other resource. "The Great Art Heist" involves interviews and cameras, as well as fiber, DNA, and fingerprint evidence. "Dead and Breakfast" involves wire taps, toxicology, and chemical analysis, as well as interviews. Along with interviews, "Fatal Error" involves computer analysis, chemical analysis and tapes. Analysis of motive and opportunity, and reconstruction of the crime are all significant components of each of these solutions. This is a most valuable resource for the science teacher of grades 6-9. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593633974
  • Publisher: Prufrock Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/2009
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 500,666
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Schindler teaches forensics, human anatomy and physiology, and biology at St. Paul's School in Baltimore, MD, and is an adjunct professor at Stevenson University.

Denis J. Mucenski teaches forensics and biology at Pittsford Mendon High School in Pittsford, NY.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 22, 2010

    Great Classroom Resource

    The lessons contained in this book are a fantastic resource. Each crime provides students the opportunity to think critically and the activities are ready to use. The lesson plans are well written and easy to follow and all student worksheets have been provided. As a teacher, this is a critical component when I look for a quality teaching resource. Even though teachers may feel that curriculum time constraints might not allow for the use of the complete lessons; what I like most about "Science Sleuths" is that teachers could use parts of the lessons to enhance curriculum as well. For instance when teaching DNA you could use the DNA Fingerprint portion of a lesson to augment your course without taking time to analyze all aspects of each crime.

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