Crime Scene: The Case of the Missing Computer Chip

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Learners use scientific processes to solve a crime. As they get clues, learners must create a hypothesis then adjust that hypothesis as more information is revealed. This activity uses crime solving as an introduction to the nature of science inquiry -- science is used effectively to reveal unwitnessed events of the past by analyzing evidence. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan



  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • The Scientific Worldview
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • McNabb, Mike ; Watts, Tom ; Willey, Ruth


  • All rights reserved, Evolution & the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI), 1999