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.

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!

Micropipettor Basics

This is a 45-65 minute activity that has students practice measuring small amounts of liquid using a micropipettor. Micropipettors are a new standard tool in laboratories and if you are lucky enough to have them in your classroom then this activity will get your students started in proper measuring technique before that first real lab that requires them to measure microliters of materials. The .zip file includes both a word file and pdf for your use in class. You can download them and use them as is. Students learn proper measuring technique, practice some sample measurements with water, and then create a rainbow by designing a procedure for measuring very small amounts of different colored water into 6 different microtubes in order to create a rainbow of either increasing volumes, decreasing volumes, or equal volumes in each tube. A sample answer key is included!

Equipment required:Micropipettor

  • Micropipettors (I have a set of 6 p20 micropipettors that accurately measure from 2-20 microliters)
  • Pipet tips
  • Microtubes (1.5mL)
  • Food coloring (stock solutions of colored water)

You can get micropipettors from any vendor that you choose.  I’ve included the following links to micropipettors that will work with this activity only to help you – Bio-rad, Sargent Welch, Edvotek.  The handout can be edited to match different models.

This is a FREE activity that is available through my TeachersPayTeachers Store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Micropipettor-Basics-Lab-Technique

DNA – The Secret of Photo 51

Photo 51The NOVA video The Secret of Photo 51 is a resource that I like to use near the beginning of our study of DNA when we are learning about the structure of DNA. It is a good introduction to the work that went on in discovering the structure of DNA and also gets into ‘What Scientists Do.’

Brief summary of the video:

The Secret of Photo 51 takes us into post-World War II Europe where the race to determine the structure of DNA was heating up. The video describes what Watson and Crick were doing, but focuses on their ‘unknowing collaborator’ Rosalind Franklin. She was using X-ray diffraction techniques to analyze the structure of DNA. It is said that without knowledge of her unpublished work Watson and Crick would not have been able to determine the structure of DNA.

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

  • What scientists do – the fact that in science your success is measured by what you can publish in scientific journals, and funding for your work is provided based on both your past work and your ideas
  • How life has changed for women scientists – Rosalind Franklin was not treated well, or as an equal, by the men that she was working with at the time
  • Scientific press vs. popular press (in terms of Watson’s book)
  • The Nobel Prize – I like to describe it as winning the Superbowl of science!

The video is 1 hour long and is available through the PBS store or your library. For more information about the film visit the PBS website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/photo51/

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 Teacher Pay Teachers store by clicking here:  http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/DNA-The-Secret-of-Photo-51-Video-Worksheet