These worksheets provided well written reading passages that explore forensic science.

Forensic science was a science that originated from necessity. Officer of the law needed help identifying the suspects involved in crimes. Even though television tells us that fingerprints and ballistics are exact sciences and always tell you a story, many experts often don’t agree on the same evidence. One of the most often used and reliable forms of data that many of us aren’t aware of are bugs. Bugs take a very particular and common path to become active. This often leads investigators to the most reliable timelines available. This has even created its own form of science called forensic entomology.

This series of worksheets look at very relevant technologies and the science behind them that focus on solving crimes or understanding basic living better.

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What is Forensic Science?

The Greek Archimedes (287 to 212 B.C.E.) was one of the earliest users of forensic science. He used the principles of water displacement to prove (by its density and buoyancy) that a crown claimed to be made of gold was not, in fact, gold.

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QUESTIONS: What is Forensic Science?

Who began the dual medical/legal approach to identifying, convicting, and exonerating suspects that we still use today?

5 Cool Technologies Used in Forensic Science

The techniques that were selected all play a substantial role in closing cases and obtaining convictions.

QUESTIONS: 5 Cool Technologies Used in Forensic Science

Which technology tool is used to recover writing on paper that is otherwise illegible?

Forensic Engineering

When a structure, or a component of a structure, fails, especially when the failure causes personal injury, damage to property, or financial loss, forensic engineers are called in to reverse engineer what went wrong.

Questions About Forensic Engineering

What was the cause of the Dee Bridge accident in Chester England?

Forensic Anthropology

There are three main areas within the field. Forensic Osteology is the study of the skeleton. Forensic Archeology is the controlled collection of human remains. Forensic Taphonomy studies how the body changes after death.

Anthropology Questions

Forensic anthropologists generally work with forensic pathologists, homicide investigators, and odontologists (forensic dentists).

Arson Investigations

Arson investigators collect physical evidence from the scene of a fire. Such evidence could include accelerants (gasoline or other flammable materials), tampered utilities, and/or specific burn patterns.

Questions About Arson Investigations

Day-to-day duties of an arson investigator include responding to and investigating fire scenes, identifying, collecting, and interpreting evidence, conducting interviews, writing reports, and testifying in court.

Challenges in DNA Forensics

The use of DNA also comes with significant challenges. DNA technology is expensive. DNA collected from a crime scene is not always recoverable by the laboratory.

Questions About Challenges in DNA Forensics

Finally, DNA testing is far from foolproof, and there is more ambiguity in DNA evidence than people commonly think. DNA labs are not evaluating and comparing entire human genomes.

Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)

The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) is a database that contains information about the DNA profiles of millions of convicted criminals, as well as DNA profiles recovered from crime scenes.

Questions About Combined DNA Index System (CODIS)

When a DNA profile is entered into CODIS, it is compared to all DNA profiles recovered from the crime scenes of open investigations.

Associated Fields in Forensic Science

Forensic accountants investigate financial fraud, such as embezzlement, tax evasion, and money laundering. Their work is largely the search for irregularities in financial records and documents.

Questions About Associated Fields in Forensic Science

Forensic psychologists perform psychological assessments on both defendants and witnesses, provide expert testimony in court on psychological issues, and provide counseling.

Computer Forensics

Metadata (data that provides information about other data) can include when a document was created, who the author is, etc.

Questions On Computer Forensics

Computer forensic investigators must not alter any data on the device in question which may later be relied upon in court.

Forensic Toxicology

Toxicology is the scientific detection, identification, analysis, and study of toxic (poisonous) chemicals in living organisms. These chemicals can include alcohol, pharmaceutical and illegal drugs, and both natural and manmade poisons

Multiple Choice Question: Forensic Toxicology

Post-mortem forensic toxicology identifies whether or not drugs and the things that they metabolize into are present in the deceased and whether they may have played a role in the death.