• Forensic Science Course


    Subject: Forensic Science

    Grade: 11-12
    Timeline: 18 weeks

    Semester Title:  Introduction to Forensic Science

     

     


     

     

     

    Forensic Science Overview: 

     

     

    Students in the Forensic Science course continue to develop knowledge in the core disciplinary ideas described in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) including science as inquiry.  The course will introduce students to the scientific methodologies used in forensic investigations.

     

     


     

     

     

    Objectives: The objectives of this semester are to apply the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Patterns.  Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them.

     

     

    2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation. Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts.

     

     

    3. Scale, proportion, and quantity. In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance.

     

     

    4. Systems and system models. Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering.

     

     

    5. Structure and function. The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructures determine many of its properties and functions.

     

     

    6. Stability and change. For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study. 

     

     


    Focus Standards:

     

     

    PSSA

     

     

    MODELS Interpret and analyze a combination of ground-based observations, satellite data, and computer models to demonstrate Earth systems and their interconnections.

     

     

    CONSTANCY/CHANGE Infer how human activities may impact the natural course of Earth’s cycles.

     

     

    PATTERNS Summarize the use of data in understanding seismic events, meteorology, and geologic time.

     

     

    3.3.12.A8:

     

     

    ·         Examine the status of existing theories.

     

     

    ·         Evaluate experimental information for relevance and adherence to science processes.

     

     

    • Judge that conclusions are consistent and logical with experimental conditions.

       

    • Interpret results of experimental research to predict new information, propose additional investigable questions, or advance a solution.

       

    • Communicate and defend a scientific argument.

       

     

     

     

    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

     


     

     

     

    Concepts - Students will know:

     

     

    ·         Identify and use science relationships to find qualitative or quantitative solutions involving the direct application/demonstration of concepts.

     

     

    ·         Provide or identify reasons/explanations for observations demonstrating understanding of the underlying scientific concept.

     

     

    ·         Understand the role of the scientific method as it relates to Forensic Science.

     

     

    ·         Understand the physical world in terms of a crime scene.

     

     

    ·         Use of Crime Scene as a setting to describe physical evidence.

     

     

    ·         Explain the steps to taking a thorough securing and recording of a crime scene.

     

     

    ·         Understand the process of a data base.

     

     

    ·         Understand the significance of drug analysis in Forensic Science.

     

     

    ·         Understand psychological and physical dependence.

     

     

    ·         Name commonly abused drugs.

     

     

    ·         List the major provisions of drug control laws in the United States.

     

     

    ·         Explain methods used for drug analysis.

     

     

    ·         Understand the role of forensic toxicology including toxicology of alcohol.

     

     

    ·         List methods of testing for intoxication including analysis of blood for alcohol.

     

     

    ·         Understand concepts related to alcohol and the law.

     

     

    ·         Understand the role of the toxicologist.

     

     

    ·         Understand the role of serology in Forensic Science.

     

     

    ·         Understand the nature of blood.

     

     

    ·         Understand the forensic characterizations of blood stains and blood stain patterns.

     

     

    ·         Understand the role of DNA in Forensic Science.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand DNA including: DNA fingerprinting, DNA profiling, the role of DNA in protein synthesis.

     

     

     

    ·         Define DNA Typing with Tandem Repeats.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR).

     

     

     

    ·         Define Short Tandem Repeats (STRs).

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the Forensic Examination of hair.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the Forensic Examination of fibers.

     

     

     

    ·         Identify and Compare manufactured fibers.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the Forensic Analysis of soil.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the fundamental principles of fingerprints.

     

     

     

    ·         List methods of Detecting Fingerprints.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand other impressions of shoes, tires, etc.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand handwriting comparisons.

     

     

     

    ·         Understand the application of Forensic Science to the Law in real world situations.

     

     

     

    ·         Evaluate results of crime scene evidence in forensic procedures.

     

     

     

    Competencies -Students will be able to:

     

     

    ·         Students will be required to analyze a problem to determine what underlying principles are involved. 

     

     

    ·         Interpret/use diagrams and graphs.

     

     

    ·         Devise and explain strategies for problem solving.

     

     

    ·         Select and apply the appropriate equations, formulas, relationships, and analytical techniques and evaluate their solutions.

     

     

    ·         Define Forensic Science.

     

     

    ·         Describe the processes of the scientific method in the analysis of a crime scene.

     

     

    ·         Create a data base.

     

     

    ·         Discuss

     

     


     

     

     

    Assessments:

     

     

    Formative, Performance Tasks with rubric, Summative, grade calculation

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Analyzing and Interpreting Data

     

     

    Analyzing Data in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data.  Analyze data using computational models in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims.

     

     

    Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

     

     

    Mathematical and computational thinking in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data.  Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.  Create a computational model or simulation of a phenomenon, designed device, progress, or system.  Use a computational representation of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.

     

     

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

     

     

    Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific knowledge, principles, and theories.  Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students' own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.  Design or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.

     

     

    Engaging in Argument from Evidence

     

     

    Engaging in argument from Evidence in 9-12 build on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about natural and designed world(s).  Arguments may also come from current scientific or historical episodes in science.  Evaluate competing design solutions to a real-world problem based on scientific ideas and principles, empirical evidence, and logical arguments regarding relevant factors 9e.g. economic, societal, environmental, ethical considerations).

     

     Scientific investigations Use a Variety of Methods

     

     

    Science investigations use diverse methods and do not always use the same set of procedures to obtain data.  New technologies advance scientific knowledge.

     

     

    Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence

     

     

    Scientific knowledge is based on empirical evidence.  Science arguments are strengthened by multiple lines of evidence supporting a single explanation.

     

     

    Developing and Using Models-Modeling in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using, synthesizing, and developing models to predict and show relationships among variables between systems and their components in the natural and designed world(s).

     

     

    Using Mathematical and Computational Thinking-Mathematical and computational thinking in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.

     

     

    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions- Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9-12 and builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

     

     

    Engaging in Argument from Evidence- Engaging in argument from evidence in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to using appropriate and sufficient evidence and scientific reasoning to defend and critique claims and explanations about the natural and designed world(s). Arguments may also come from current scientific and historical episodes in science.

     

     

    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs.

     

     

    Planning and Carrying Out Investigations- Planning and carrying out investigations in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to include investigations that provide evidence for and test conceptual, mathematical, physical, and empirical models.

     

     

    Analyzing and Interpreting Data- Analyzing data in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency and the use of models to generate and analyze data.

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

     

    Differentiation:

     

     

    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson. Additional differentiation options are listed with directions and student masters in the Teacher’s Guide.

     

     

    Remediation could include: using word walls, using flip charts or foldables, structured notebooks, peer teaching, teaming with the math department for graphing.

     

     

    Extensions could include: independent research, inquiry based experiments, exploration of topics online.

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

     

    Interdisciplinary Connections:

     

    Writing in the Sciences is connected to Literacy Common Core Shifts.  Students could use notebooking or journaling, reading informational text and answering text-dependent questions, writing laboratory experiment plans and lab reports, academic and content specific vocabulary. 

     

     

    Problem Solving in the Sciences is connected with Mathematics Common Core Shifts in the following topics:  reasoning abstractly and quantitatively, modeling, scale,  formulas, measurement, graphing data, and calculations.

     

     

     

     

     


     

     

     

    Additional Resources / Games:

     

     

     Pennsylvania Department of Education - www.education.state.pa.us

     

     

     Standards Aligned System - http://www.pdesas.org/