Forensics: DNA Evidence

This is my DNA Evidence lecture given in a forensics class about types of evidence that contain DNA.  It also describes Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and DNA Fingerprinting by electrophoresis in detail.  There is also an embedded youtube video in the prezi and the powerpoint.  The content in the prezi and powerpoint are identical so it is just a matter of choice for the teacher.  Do you want to use the free prezi or purchase the powerpoint from my TPT store?

Topics include:

  • DNA Structure
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Gel Electrophoresis
  • DNA Fingerprinting
  • Types of DNA Evidence

The prezi above is available for free and there is a student note-guide available in my TPT store, plus a powerpoint version of the prezi if you prefer that format:

DNA Evidence Student Note Guide to accompany a FREE prezi! DNA Evidence powerpoint presentation and student note guide

In Practice…

This lecture takes approximately 75 minutes depending on how much detail and examples are given.  It is good to use in a Forensics course in high school or introductory college level setting.  It includes a refresher section but most students  have had some introductory biology so they have been exposed to DNA structure and replication.

DNA Evidence Inspiration

Here are some of the best links to resources on DNA evidence:

Have you found a good resource about DNA evidence that should be part of this list? Add it in the comments so we can put it in the list too!

Forensic Pathology

This is my Forensic Pathology lecture given in a forensics class about what a Medical Examiner does to determine the cause of death.  It also describes several of the methods used to estimate postmortem interval, or how long it has been since someone died.

Topics include:

  • Roles in the crime lab
  • Algor Mortis
  • Rigor Mortis
  • Livor Mortis
  • Autopsy

The prezi above is available for free and there is a student note-guide available in my TPT store:

Pathology PPT and Student Note Guide

In Practice…

This lecture takes approximately 75 minutes depending on how much detail and examples are given.  It is good to use in a Forensics course in high school or introductory college level setting.  I use this in my Human Remains unit where we also discuss Forensic Anthropology (or bones!)

Another activity that the students enjoy with this topic is the virtual autopsy.

Forensics: Laws and Evidence Lecture

This is an introduction to the types of law and the rules of evidence that need to be considered for forensic investigators.  It gives good perspective to students about the role of forensic investigators and technicians within the criminal justice community.  It describes the criminal justice system in the United States in terms of Civil vs. Criminal, Rules of Evidence, etc.

Different types of evidence and how evidence can be entered into a court proceeding is also discussed in this lecture.  It provides a framework for the students to consider as the Forensics course moves forward with collection and testing of different types of evidence.  They can see where/how the evidence trail will end.

Topics include:

  • Direct vs. Indirect Evidence
  • Class vs. Individual Evidence
  • Civil vs. Criminal Law
  • Rules of Evidence
  • The Daubert Approach

The prezi above is available for free and there is a student note-guide available in my TPT store: Forensics: Laws & Evidence Lecture Note Guide for Prezi

In Practice…

This lecture takes approximately 75 minutes depending on how much detail and examples are given.  It is good to use near the beginning of a Forensics course in high school or introductory college level setting.  I use this as the second lecture of the course, after the What is Forensics? lecture and before the Crime Scene Protocols topic.

Fingerprinting Resource Inspiration

The following list of websites are all related to Fingerprint Evidence and can be used as either teacher or student resources.

Do you have any great resources to add to this list? Please post them in the comments and I’ll update the list!

Crime Scene Protocols

An introduction to crime scene personnel and procedures.  This is the first lesson in my Crime Scene Protocols unit. It takes students through what happens once a first responder has determined that, yes, we have a crime scene here!  Then the CSI team gets called in and the process of documenting the scene and properly collecting any evidence must begin.

In addition to the prezi I give my students the following note guide to fill in as I go through the lecture.  You can download the note guide as a PDF below.

Crime Scene Protocols Note Guide – PDF

In practice…

This lecture takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how much detail and examples are given.  There is a 10-minute youtube video embedded in the prezi that details methods for picking up trace evidence from carpet.

Mysteries of Matter: Into Thin Air video worksheet

I like to use this video in chemistry classes either when learning about the periodic tableMysteries of Matter Cover, or later when beginning reactions.  It could really fit in anywhere, even as a good sub plan!

These questions follow the video Mysteries of Matter Episode 1: Into Thin Air.  For more information about the film visit the website: http://www.pbs.org/program/mystery-matter/ The video is 1 hour long and is available through the PBS store or your library.

Brief summary of the video:

This is the first of 3 episodes in the Mysteries of Matter series.  It introduces us to 3 scientists and how their work progresses in related topics.  We begin with James Priestley in England who experiments with ‘fixed air.’  Then, it moves on to Paris for the work of Antoine Lavoisier in discovering oxygen.  Finally, Humphrey Davy is described as a charismatic lecturer, enthusiastic ‘tester’ of different gasses, and discoverer of more elements.

In addition to discussing elements, the following topics become good discussions with this video:

  • Does a gas have mass?
  • Scientific collaboration – is it wise to share all of your experiments and results?  What if you don’t understand the results?  Who should get credit for a discovery – the person who performed the experiment, or the person who understands its significance?
  • Lab Safety – Compare the procedures and equipment that we would use today, with the methods used in this episode
  • Chemistry as a hobby – in a time without TV, internet, etc.  people went to lectures as entertainment, people tinkered in their own homes to make new discoveries.

I have created a video guide with questions for students to fill in as they watch this film.  If you are interested in the handout it is available through my Teachers Pay Teachers store by clicking here:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mysteries-of-Matter-Into-Thin-Air-video-worksheet-2462293

What do you think of this video?  I thought it was very valuable and my students found it interesting!