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Forensics in the Courtroom

Forensics in the Courtroom

DNA forensics is being used in the courtroom to investigate violent crimes, paternity, social security, and insurance claims, and to track food-borne epidemics, among other things.

Materials for Forensics in the Courtroom

Articles/Research

Can DNA Demand a Verdict?

Description: Information on DNA fingerprinting and how it is used in the courtroom

Science in the Courtroom

Description: A judge on the Massachusetts Superior Court answers questions about DNA analysis in forensics and the challenges DNA science brings to the courtroom.

Labs & Experiments

Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) with Powdery Mildew Fungi

Description: This exercise can be used to stimulate the investigative nature of your students as they use forensic plant pathology techniques with powdery mildew cleistothecia (the sexual stage of powdery mildew fungi) to prove their innocence in a mock murder investigation.

Teacher Resources

DNA - A Molecular Identity (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: This lesson plan engages students in learning what DNA is and about different DNA profiling techniques. Students examine three real cases where DNA evidence was an essential component and evaluate the benefits and possible misuses of DNA information.

Take the Case: Chain of Evidence (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Students will use the interactive Take the Case - Chain of Evidence to investigate a crime scene and analyze evidence, interview suspects, and solve the case.

Video

Forensic DNA Analysis

Description: This video segment from the prime time science series, NOVA: "The Killer's Trail," follows a team of experts as they investigate the forensic evidence from the 1954 murder of Marilyn Sheppard, one of the most famous unsolved crimes in U.S. history.

Forensics on Trial

Description: A video investigating the strengths and weaknesses of forensic science practices

Forensic Entomology

Games

Crime Scene Creatures

Description: A game that introduces basic concepts of forensic entomology

Interactive Tutorials

Anatomical Atlas of Flies

Description: An interactive anatomy map of flies

Teacher Resources

Entomology in Action (Lesson Plans/Lesson Activities)

Description: Lesson plans and teaching aids on entomology

Entomology Resources for Educators

Description: Lesson plans, student contests, educator awards, and teacher workshops to help educators increase science literacy.