This lesson uses the interactive Take the Case: Chain of Evidence to show you how a forensic scientist investigates a crime scene. You will learn the basic tools a scientist uses to solve a case, how evidence is collected and analyzed, and how suspects and witnesses are interviewed.
Before you do the Take the Case interactive, go online and “investigate” to learn more about forensic science.
Using these resources, gather the evidence you need to answer these questions. You can write your answers on the Take the Case student sheet:
- What is forensic science (or CSI)?
- What is evidence? Can you give an example?
- Why is it important to preserve or record a crime scene?
- What are the 10 areas of forensic science?
With your partners, go online to Take the Case: Chain of Evidence and read the two introductory paragraphs. Then, click on the link to the interactive and click on the start button. You are the chief of police investigating a crime scene.
Read the introduction. As you read through the script, note anything said or done that might be relevant to solving the crime. For instance:
- The house alarm was turned off at 11:35 p.m. the night of the crime.
- Someone used Mrs. Vandergate’s code, but she said she was at a party that evening and didn’t get home until 1:00 a.m.
- Three other people know the code: Mary V., Jason Starr, and Ed Nakashima.
Be sure to note these observations, even if you are not sure of their relevance.
Visit the Crime Scene
There are two rooms where the crime took place. In both rooms, you need to use your mouse to find the evidence and collect it using the Tools button on the left. Be sure to select a Tool and a Storage Item. When you select the correct Tool and Storage Item, the evidence will automatically go to the Evidence panel. After you have collected all the evidence that you think is important to solving the case, click on the Go to the Lab button.
Answer the questions on Crime Scene Evidence student sheet as you go through the crime scene.
Go to the Lab
In this window, you need to drag and drop the evidence onto the table so Sylvia, the forensic scientist, can inspect what you collected. As you place each piece of evidence on the table, Sylvia describes how it was analyzed and what the scientists discovered about the evidence.
- What did you learn from Sylvia about collecting evidence?
As you look at each piece of evidence, use the Crime Lab Evidence student sheet to record the facts about the evidence.
Click on the people you would like to interview. Questions will pop up in the panel on the left. Click on each question. The answer will appear in a bubble next to the suspect. Drag and drop the answers you feel are relevant into the notes panel on the left.
As you interview each suspect, note any answers to their questions that raise a red flag for you. Drag those answers to the notes box. Once you have interviewed your suspects, click on the Make Your Case button.
Make Your Case
In this window, the prosecuting attorney will appear and ask you what evidence you have collected. Based on your team’s investigation, select the suspect(s) you believe are guilty of committing the crime. Next drag and drop the evidence that supports your case. When you are done, click the arrow on the right. The attorney will instruct you on what to do next.
This esheet is a part of the Take the Case: Chain of Evidence lesson.