Mobile Triggers

Middle School Students Solve a Crime During STEM Week

Rudy Brandl

Students in grades 6-8 participated in the Middle School after school STEM workshop from Nov. 8-11. The 16 students who signed up for the program found themselves walking into a crime scene as the MS STEM space had been turned into the porch of a beach home where a body had been found but gone missing. 

On Tuesday, the students needed to carefully observe, collect and sort the evidence to be turned over to the forensics lab on the following days. Of course, on Wednesday and Thursday, our students took on the roles of forensic scientists to learn and practice techniques to evaluate the evidence. Tests included: fingerprint matching, testing for starches, chromatography, burning of fibers, and handwriting analysis. 

By Friday, the testing was complete and prosecutors were ready to make their case. Our students represented the four suspects, defense attorneys, prosecutors and jurors as they made their cases based on the evidence analyzed. Some cases are never quite solved, but our students had some fun leaning into science applications in our world.