I love the freedom of choice that comes with homeschooling. We have the freedom to be as creative as we want with our studies and choose out-of-the box studies for different subjects. If you have a teenager that likes crime stories and police shows they may be interested in learning about forensic science. Check out some free forensic science programs that your students can enjoy in place of regular science.
Forensic Science for Kids
Forensic science is not actually a branch of science. Instead, forensic science is how science is applied to criminal investigation and the law. A forensic expert will use the scientific method to analyze the evidence at a crime scene and for criminal cases. This helps the detectives to find the criminals and absolve the innocent. Some great examples of trace evidence are fingerprint patterns, blood type tests, blood type, and dental records.
Because forensics involves a range of sciences, including life sciences, it’s a great way to introduce young kids to different scientific disciplines such as chemistry and biology. Kids can watch videos about how the various forensic disciplines are play a crucial role in court cases. Or they can complete various activities that teach them how to conduct forensic tests.
Forensic Science for Middle School and High School Students
Also, high school and middle school students love to watch tv shows that include detective stories. Kids enjoy studying how forensic examination works in the real world. A budding detective wants to participate in crime scene investigation activities that require scientific techniques.
In addition, kids can learn about the legal issues that surround forensic investigation. Issues such as how a piece of evidence is collected and tested to determine what happened during a time. For kids who are interested in a career in law enforcement, learning about these issues is critical.
Kids Can Become Crime Scene Investigators
There are several activities made for kids that will give children various scenarios. And part of their story lines includes forensic evidence that the kids need to use to solve the crimes.
Kids will need to analyze blood and ink samples. They’ll need to consider DNA testing, fiber samples, and genetic information. They may have the opportunity to complete simple tests. When all is done, the kids can use critical thinking to apply the science they know to solve the crimes.
An effective way to learn about an individual forensic technique is to watch videos and read books.
Creating Investigative Scenarios
It doesn’t matter how old your kids are, they’ll adore becoming crime scene investigators and working to solve the different scenarios. Plus, with a bit of thought, you can adjust the scenarios to your child’s age and abilities. A young child can only have one or two pieces of evidence to consider.
A high school-aged child may need a scenario that’s much more complicated. In the end, forensics is a great way to teach your kids science, especially if they’re interested in an out of the box science class.
Study the Science of Forensics
The best part is that studying forensic science would be perfect for the student that doesn’t want the traditional science textbook and would like to try out of the box learning. Forensic science is used to help show the legal evidence that would be presented in court when a crime has been committed. It requires a lot of hands-on activities like finger print dusting, examining items under a microscope, blood and DNA samples and more.
Unlike biology, astronomy, or physical science, it’s hard to find a complete curriculum that will work as a one year science credit for forensic science. Carrie found a forensic science curriculum that she used when her daughter was in eleventh grade though.
If you can’t find a forensic science curriculum that will fit your needs, you may end up pulling together your own forensics science study for your kids.
You might be wondering what does a forensic scientist do?
There are many different jobs in forensics that don’t involve bodily fluids, such as document examiners and digital forensics in which digital evidence is examined.
There are dozens of different types of careers in the field of forensic science. If your student is interested in a forensic science career, they could explore these different types:
Forensics for Kids
Forensics for kids may sound difficult to put together, but it’s not that bad. Because kids are fascinated by what they’ve seen on television shows, many people have created free printables, games, videos, and studies. You can use these free resources for kids of all ages to teach your children forensic science. All you’ll need is some time, a printer, and the willingness to pick up the supplies you need.
Try having your kids read mystery books and see if they can solve the crime before the investigators can. Chat with your kids about the scientific evidence that the investigators find. Watch television shows. Look at how different people solve various situations. Discuss science news and how science can be used in different legal situations. With a bit of creativity and thought, you can create the perfect forensics class for your child.
Free Forensic Science Printables
We’ve spent a lot of time searching for free printables, unit studies and courses that you can combine together to create a forensic science curriculum of your very own.
This would be great for older middle school students and highschoolers. These free forensic science printables will help you create your own forensic unity study. You can use many of these printables with kids in the elementary grades or in high school.
Kids will get the opportunity to set up a forensics lab and complete some real-life science activities. Young kids will love the chance to play Sherlock Holmes as they learn a little bit about solving crimes.
20 worksheets on different types of forensic science – You’ll find 20 different forensic science worksheets here. The worksheets include computer forensics, forensic toxicology, DNA, arson, what forensic anthropologists do, and more making this a wonderful resource for forensic science teachers.
CSI Fingerprint Cards – Give your kids a taste of taking peoples finger prints by allowing kids to fill out a sample fingerprint card using their own finger prints.
Forensics on Trial Worksheet – This is a fill-in-the-blank worksheet that’s designed to be used with the television show NOVA’s “Forensics on Trial” video. The show looks at the legal system and how forensics may put an innocent person behind bars.
Forensic Science Evidence Log Sheet – This is a great way to give young kids a taste of filling out a forensic evidence log sheet.
CSI Report Form Template – You’ll find a CSI Police Report Form that gives kids a taste for how law enforcement records forensic evidence.
Forensics CSI Study Guide – This study guide is a great addition to your study of forensics. It will help kids organize their notes as they watch the show.
Free Forensic Science Hands-On Activities and Printables:
Are you looking for some fun crime scene investigation activities for your children to complete? Not only will these activities keep your kids busy for a couple of hours, but they’re also great resources to introduce kids to scientific techniques and how they’re used in real life. Kids can learn about criminal investigation and the human body.
Vehicle Crime Scene Investigation Activity – You’ll find ideas for how to set up different scenarios, worksheets for kids to record forensic evidence, record evidence analysis, and write a crime summary. The kids will use their deductive reasoning to solve the crime.
Historic Crime Cases Research Activity – Kids get an opportunity to take a look at historical crimes and study the forensic evidence.
Fingerprint Diagrams Activity – Your kids will love reviewing the details of fingerprint analysis. They’ll look get a chance to look at fingerprint ridge patterns and other details as they collect and study their own fingerprints.
Density of Unknown Glass Sample Forensic Lab – Set up a crime lab and find the density of an unknown piece of glass. It’s a great science project to help kids learn about analyzing evidence.
Free Online Courses and Websites on Forensic Science
If you’re looking for some free online courses and websites for your children about forensic science, then you’ll love these options. Your child won’t turn into a forensic expert. But he or she will get a good idea of how a forensic detective works and how to complete a forensic examination. They’ll also learn how law enforcement uses forensics to solve cases.
Forensic Science Trivia and Quizes has 15 quizzes on basic forensic science, fingerprints, serology, forensics and more!
Forensic Science and Fingerprints – Do you have a child fascinated by fingerprints? Then they’ll love this course which covers how fingerprinting works, how to classify fingerprints. And also how fingerprinting is used in a legal situation.
The Science Behind Forensics – This is an older course that takes a look at what forensics is and how the various sciences such as earth science and physical science are used to solve cases.
Digital Forensic Science Course – Have your kids ever wondered what digital forensics is and how it’s used in a forensics lab? Then you’ll love this course!
CSI Web Adventures
CSI Web Adventures is a fun website for anyone interested in criminal or forensic science. You’ll find information for families, educators, and kids. Plus, there are tons of free resources and activities like:
- Free Educators Guide – You’ll find information about what forensic content is in each game, student worksheets, handwriting samples, activity sheets, and educational games. You’ll even find instructions on how to help your kids simulate running their own forensics firm. The goal is to follow the evidence, solve the crime, all while staying within budget.
- Free Family Guide – A family guide to the website is available on this page. You can download the entire PDF file or it in sections. The guide is a great way to introduce critical thinking to your kids with these fun situations for kids to solve.
- Rookie Training Demo Videos – You’ll find a wonderful collection of demo videos that include autopsy practice, toxicology, and an arson investigation. The videos are arranged in groups so the kids can help solve cases such as a canine caper, burning star, and even fatal interactions.
- Cool Links – In addition, there’s a page of cool links. These pages will teach your kids how DNA samples are analyzed. In addition, there are pages that discuss forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, and forensic pathology.
- Online CSI Activities – If your kids are looking for some fun online activities, they’ll love testing their power of observations, memory skills, and ability to spot the difference. Plus there’s even an online scavenger hunt. Your kids will need to track down the answers to forensics trivia questions.
More Forensic Courses for Kids
The Science Spot has an entire page of Forensic Science lesson plans that were created by an 8th grade teacher who taught a 9 week course in forensic science. This is an amazing resource! There are powerpoint presentations, worksheets, a CSI geocaching activity and 13 different topics to learn about!
Forensic Science Investigation Unit has free online units on forensic specialists, fingerprints, crime scenes, evidence, victims, suspects, and there is even homework and a page for teachers.
Forensics Illustrated is a free comprehensive, complete forensic science curriculum created for high school students from Brennon Sapp. He taught highschool forensic science for 9 years and compiled all of his information online for anyone for free. This is an amazing resource that comes with readings, pictures, power point presentations, practice worksheets, projects, labs, test reviews and tests.
How to Teach Fire Forensics and the Science of Fire to Middle Schoolers – Do you have a young child fascinated by the science of fire? Then this is a course you need. Kids act as junior fire investigators. They’ll collect evidence to solve the mystery of why the fire started. Kids learn about forensic evidence such as char, lines of demarcation, and smoke patterns. In addition, they’ll learn how fire is defined, how a fire develops, and how fire behaves.
Sara Dennis is a veteran homeschool mom of six who’s still homeschooling her two youngest kids after the older four have graduated, entered college, and moved on to adult life. She blogs at Classically Homeschooling.