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Forensic Science: Hair Sample Investigation


Source Institutions

    Twin Cities Public Television

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Forensic Science: Hair Sample Investigation

This activity (on page 2 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into how hairs from a crime scene are matched to suspects. Learners each take a single hair from their own head, then put it directly into the beam of a laser pointer. This projects the unique pattern of each hair onto a piece of paper to be traced, measured, identified and compared with the others. Learners can conclude this activity by setting up a mystery exercise with prepared samples of hair already in frames. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV: Forensics.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Simulation

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • a laser pen and laser safety goggles
  • stiff construction paper or a Manila folder
  • white office paper
  • scissors
  • cellophane or masking tape
  • a marking pen
  • a meter stick or standard carpenter’s tape measure
  • a centimeter ruler
  • a dimly lit room
  • a notebook

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Patterns of Heredity
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Patterns
    • Measurement
    • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Light and Optics
      • Lasers
      • Reflection and Refraction
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories


  • Crime Science

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

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

Culture, ethnicity, and gender

  • Girls

    • Highlights STEM opportunities for this group
    • Identifies role models or mentors in STEM fields from this group
    • Uses inclusive images of people from this group

Other


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

Source Collection:

  • DragonflyTV

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Twin Cities Public Television, Inc., ©2006

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 436260

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