Court TV Site Challenges Students to Solve Mysteries With Science

The National Science Teachers Association is promoting Court TV's forensic science Web site, Forensics in the Classroom (www.courttv.com/forensics_ curriculum), for middle and high schools. The site features curricula that teachers can download for use in their chemistry, biology and physics classes. Each unit contains experiments, handouts and teacher directions that revolve around a case students must solve using forensic evidence.

One of the units, "Cafeteria Caper," is a case for high school students that positions them as investigators trying to discover who vandalized the school cafeteria. To do so, students must conduct enzyme tests and hair analyses, as well as learn how to examine DNA, chromosomes and blood. This unit gives students knowledge in the properties of organic molecules, as well as in understanding and performing scientific inquiry. It also provides students with information regarding the uses for chemical indicators and skills in observation and data collection. Many of the same skills are taught in "It's Magic," a unit for middle school students, which challenges them to solve a "dognapping" case by conducting pH tests, chromatography and hair analyses.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.

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