Course Builder

Forensics

Mix and match any of the lessons below to customize your Forensics course. 


While working through our Forensics lessons, students will gain core competencies in cutting-edge skills such as crime-scene sketching, latent print detection, and spot-testing for explosive residues. They will use in-depth analyses of glass, hair, fibers, and soils to learn modern techniques as they engage in exciting investigations to determine how trace evidence is transferred between suspects, victims, and crime scenes.

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By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss Locard’s principle and its implications for forensic science.
  • Model the transfer of potential evidence items to a crime scene from a suspect.
  • Construct the reverse transfer of potential evidence from a crime scene to a suspect.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the components of a fingerprint and explain the meaning of a latent fingerprint.
  • Dust for and lift fingerprints.
  • Discuss whether fingerprints are really prints and do all people have fingerprints.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explore how chemical methods of latent detection work.
  • Study how chemical methods differ from one another.
  • Perform cyanoacrylate, ninhydrin, and iodine fuming (IKI) techniques.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the chemistry of most common explosives.
  • Perform chemical tests for the presence/absence of ions commonly found in explosive residues.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Sketch a crime scene using the baseline and triangulation methods.
  • Examine, document, and collect evidence.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the parts of a compound microscope and how they are used.
  • Identify the differences between a dissecting microscope, compound microscope, scanning electron microscope, and transmission electron microscope.
  • Observe specimens with a microscope.
  • Prepare and stain a wet mount slide.
  • Calculate the power of magnification and field of view with objective lenses.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Perform counts of ridges of loop prints.
  • Categorize prints with more than one delta.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Discuss the chemistry of combustion, including the fire triangle.
  • Explain the classification of arson accelerants.
  • Match hypothetical crime scene chromatograms against a chromatogram database.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the chemical and physical properties of soils.
  • Differentiate soils based on macroscopic and microscopic characteristics.
  • Categorize soils based on chemical analysis.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze fiber samples using macroscopic and microscopic techniques.
  • Identify hair samples as human or from other animals.
  • Evaluate how paint can be used as evidence.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the macroscopic characteristics of glass.
  • Distinguish between fracture patterns of glass.
  • Calculate the density of a sample of broken glass.
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