Building on the growing public interest in forensics, the three cases featured in Science Sleuths: Solving Mysteries Using Scientific Inquiry merge science and literacy, requiring students to be critical and active readers as they conduct their investigation. Beginning with an evaluation of the crime scene photos, the 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 (being alert to red herrings) as they work to identify the person responsible for each crime. Students are given additional sets of information as they make their way through the case, requiring them 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!
- solve fun mysteries using science skills,
- sort through evidence to develope hypotheses, and
- use critical thinking to identify the suspect.
Table of Contents
Teacher Directions Procedure The Great Art Heist Dead and Breakfast Fatal Error References About the Authors Common Core State Standards Alignment
Howard Schindler received his bachelor’s degree in school and public health from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1975 and his master’s degree in education from Johns Hopkins University in 1988. Howard currently teaches forensics, human anatomy and physiology, and biology at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore, MD.
Dennis J. Mucenski currently teaches high school biology and forensics for Pittsford Mendon High School in Rochester, NY. He is also an adjunct professor at St. John Fisher College and enjoys doing webinars and seminars for Ward's Science Supply Company.
Science Sleuths: Solving Mysteries Using Scientific Inquiry is a paperback curriculum for gifted forensics students in grades 6-9, presenting three fictional murder cases with evidence, clues, interview and other data, and lab results to be processed by a team of student sleuths who analyze the information logically and scientifically and then write up their formulated hypothesis to determine which suspect should be charged with the crime. Science Sleuths suggests teachers determine whether students should work alone to solve mysteries or in small groups of not more than three. Each mystery can take up to five 40-minute class periods to solve, stimulating students to engage and use their scientific inquiry skills. Science Sleuths is a creative learning operation that integrates and sharpens science and literary abilities while promoting a process experience of cooperative teamwork and communication. Science Sleuths would work well in either a standard education setting such as a middle or high school or an alternative education setting such as home-schooling.,James A Cox,Midwest Book Review, 2/23/10
Very good documentation (ie. crime file) and data pages (ie. suspect charts) are included in the book!! These pages helped my children feel like their crime files were quite realistic. Charts are also included for fingerprint typing, and reading DNA gels. There are even three full-color, pull-out posters included that act as the bulletin board of information relating to each case. Final products from your student will include a suspect chart, crime log, hypothesis about the crime and a re-creation of the crime essay. A rubric is supplied to help you place a grade on your children's work if you like. The book was originally written for use in a classroom, but they suggest cracking the cases either as individuals or in small groups. This works perfectly for the homeschool setting.,Cindy West,The Curriculum Choice, 4/20/10
Have we ever had fun with this Science Sleuths mini-unit! My children love a good mystery, so I knew this science-related study would be just up their alley. Written for grades 6--9, Science Sleuths includes three detailed cases for your children to solve based on clues and evidence that slowly trickle in over the course of a few days time . . .Very good documentation (i.e., crime file) and data pages (i.e., suspect charts) are included in the book! These pages helped my children feel like their crime files were quite realistic. Charts are also included for fingerprint typing, and reading DNA gels. There are even three full-color, pull-out posters included that act as the bulletin board of information relating to each case . . . This works perfectly for the homeschool setting. ,Cindy West,The Curriculum Choice, 4/1/10