Forensic Science Book 2 Cover

Forensic Science Book 2

CSI activities to engage learners

Forensic Science Book 2 supports the subject at senior secondary level. The resources needed for its activities are available in a high school science laboratory or else are easily sourced. 

Ages: 15-18 | Pages: 68 | Code: 51068 | ISBN: 9781776555147

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David Winter

Dr David Winter is a lecturer in science education at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. For many years he was a forensic scientist with the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), performing a variety of forensic examinations for the New Zealand Police, including the toxicological analysis of post mortem specimens. He has presented scientific evidence on numerous occasions in the District Courts and the High Court, played a significant role in forensic laboratory accreditation and quality assurance and has developed and delivered training programmes for police and customs officers.
Picture of Chris Astall

Chris Astall

After gaining a PhD in marine biology in 1992, Dr Chris Astall trained to become a primary school teacher and taught in schools in both the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Since 2008 he has been a senior lecturer in science education at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand, a role that involves working with many schools throughout the country. In 1999 he was awarded the prestigious Royal Society (UK) Millennium Fellowship for his community science development project “Saturday Science and Technology”. His current research interests include the use of ICT in science education, the development of nature of science through children’s literature and exploring how schools can develop sustainable science practices. He has presented nationally and internationally and has facilitated numerous workshops, through science conferences and consultation work.


Important note: Health and safety disclaimer4
Curriculum links4
1. The nature of forensic science6
The scientist as an expert witness6
How reliable is forensic evidence?7
Find out more9
Useful web links9
Forensic rulers9
2. Lights on or off?11
Forensic focus11
Activity: Performing a lamp examination15
Activity: The role of inert gas in protecting the filament16
Find out more 18Useful web links18
3. Hidden numbers19
Forensic focus19
Activity: Restoring serial numbers by acid etching21
Activity: Stamped serial number restoration by heat treatment23
Find out more24
Useful web links24
4. Glass fracture patterns25
Forensic focus25
Activity: Impact testing28
Find out more29
5. A spectrum of possibilities30
Forensic focus30
Activity: Building a Lego spectrophotometer34
Activity: Analysis of food colourings38
Infrared spectroscopy39
Find out more40
6. Thin-layer chromatography41
Forensic focus41
Activity: Making sample applicators43
Activity: Making TLC plates44
Activity: Applying samples, developing the TLC plates and visualisation45
Find out more46
7. Poisons, medicines and drugs47
Forensic focus47
Activity: Spot tests54
Activity: Thin-layer chromatography with common medicines55
Activity: Making oil of wintergreen57
Activity: Extracting caffeine from tea58
Find out more59
8. Don't play with matches60
Forensic focus60
Activity: Using steam distillation to collect ignitable liquids63
Activity: Analysing the distillate by thin-layer chromatography65
Find out more67