Forensics is the interdisciplinary application of science to investigate and analyze evidence of historical, and most often criminal, events. In the classroom, training forensic scientists requires preparing students to be able to identify, compare, and analyze a breadth of evidence types using skills across biology, chemistry, and physics.
This guide provides information, products, free digital resources, and suggestions for teaching the most common types of evidence in forensic science. The types of evidence covered in this topic are:
- Blood Evidence
- DNA Evidence
- Forensic Anthropology
- Trace Evidence
- Ballistics and Toolmarks
Fingerprints are the impressions made on a surface from contact with a person’s fingertips. Because the patterns and ridges of human fingerprints are different between individuals, forensic investigators can use fingerprint evidence to make individual identifications. In the field, a variety of tools such as inks, powders, and chemicals are used to obtain and visualize prints. Below are just a few of the authentic forensics supplies Carolina offers for your fingerprint evidence investigations.
Blood evidence is a diverse and multifaceted domain of forensics that provides opportunities for teaching a variety of subjects and techniques from chemistry, biology, and physics. Simulated Kastle-Meyer tests can be used to determine if an unknown sample is blood or a blood-like substance. Blood typing examines cell structures and immune functions to obtain useful class evidence on the blood type (A, B, AB, or O) of a sample. And the patterns of blood spatters found at a crime scene can be used to estimate the angle, velocity, and point of origin for a spatter. Whichever subject you use blood evidence for, we have you covered!
When human remains are discovered at a crime scene, how do forensic investigators determine who died? How old they were? How tall? What biological sex? Forensic anthropology is the application of anatomy, physiology, and anthropology to determine the answer to these questions to aid in solving criminal cases. We offer detailed, replicated skeletal remains and activities for your students to engage with forensic anthropology in your classroom.
DNA is the gold standard of individual evidence because no two human genomes, except for those of identical twins, are identical. A common practice of DNA analysis for forensic investigations is to create and compare DNA fingerprinting profiles, which examine small regions of repetitive DNA that vary between individuals. Making DNA fingerprints often requires the use of gel electrophoresis, PCR, and other biotechnology techniques. We understand that knowledge of, and access to, biotechnology can vary from classroom to classroom, so our kits are designed to meet your unique needs, whether you’re a first-time teacher or a seasoned expert.
Every contact between a suspect and a surface will result in a transfer of minute substances that can provide helpful trace evidence to investigators. Trace evidence can be either biological or physical, and each category of trace evidence has unique characteristics and investigatory techniques. From fibers to hair to glass, our kits can help your students become experts at analyzing trace evidence.
Ballistics and Toolmarks
If a crime involves a firearm, tool, or a scuffle, impressions will likely be left behind that, when analyzed, yield insights into what has occurred. Projectiles from firearms will leave impact that can be used to determine the trajectory and point of origin from their use. Tools such as pliers and screwdrivers, when struck on a surface, produce impressions that can be identified and traced to a unique tool. Shoe prints vary between shoe manufactories, making footwear prints a good source of class evidence. Below are just a few examples of kits that are sure to make an impression with your students.
Kits that Cover Multiple Forensic Topics
Crime Scene Supplies
Be prepared to examine biological and physical evidence with forensics supplies. We have forensic resources for fingerprinting, crime scene documentation, evidence collection, impressions, UV illumination, and much more!
Additional Forensic Support
We have free resources to help you teach this concept, including:
Free Forensic Resources
Use these free resources to supplement your instruction.
- Learn the basics of fingerprinting.
- Develop latent prints with silver nitrate.
- Analyze bloodstains.
- Learn about human blood types.
- Investigate trajectories.
Forensic Science Videos
Looking for some support for your forensic science labs? These videos can help.
Use this guide to help you select products for your forensic science classroom.
For More Guidance
These are our top picks. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, we’ll be happy to help you find the right activities and kits to simplify your planning and implementation. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.