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Copy of Forensics in Chemistry: The Murder of Kirsten K.

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Sara McCubbins

on 29 March 2016

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Transcript of Copy of Forensics in Chemistry: The Murder of Kirsten K.

The Final Assessment
Forensics in Chemistry:
The Murder of Kirsten K.

The Suspects
Part One:

Crime Scene Analysis
Empirical formula calculations are used to match crime scene chemicals to a chart of chemical formulas.

Part Two:

Suspect Analysis
Chemicals found on each suspect are matched to those found at the crime scene.
PA #2: The Chemical Evidence
What worked:
design your own project
What didn't:
Power Point mania
Court Case Chaos
PRISM-Partnerships for Research in Science and Mathematics Education
need for chemistry forensics
Performance Assessments and Backwards Design
Inquiry-based activities
By: Sara McCubbins and Angela Codron
PA #3: Nuclear Radiation Evidence
What is it?
A year-long forensics-based chemistry curriculum where students collect data and evidence throughout five different performance assessments and assemble it to solve the case by the end of the year.
PA #1: The Cooler and Car Evidence
Part One:

Cooler Evidence
Students use knowledge of density to design a procedure to determine which lake/creek sample the blue plastic cooler pieces are from based on the ability of those pieces to float.
Part Two:

Truck Evidence
Students use gas laws to determine details surrounding airbag deployment from the victim's delivery truck and whether it can be removed safely without destroying evidence.
PA #4: The Weapon Analysis
PA #5: The Drug Lab Evidence
Contact Us:
Sara McCubbins
Angie Codron
Now Available!
Bottom Line:
Find the solution that works best for your class and your students!
Victim: Kirsten K.
does cake decorating on the side
married to Larry J.
Suspect #1: Harold M.
works at the lakehouse owned by Gladys V.
Suspect #2: Gladys V.
retired pharmacist
owns a lake house where Kirsten and Larry vacation
Suspect #3: Elizabeth G.
owns a wedding cake business
neighbor of Kirsten and Larry
Suspect #4: Larry J.
investment banker
husband of the victim
has had drug problems in the past
In performance assessment #4, Larry J. becomes the 2nd victim and a new suspect, Gerald V., is added.
Concepts covered:
density, data interpretation, dimensional analysis (unit conversions), gas laws, kinetic molecular theory, surface tension.
Concepts covered:
empirical formula, percent composition, stoichiometry, mole to gram calculations, limiting reactant, percent yield.
Part Three:

Mole Conversions
Amounts of chemicals found at the scene and on the suspects are converted to moles using molar mass calculations.

Part Four:

Cake Shop Conversions
Limiting reactant, theoretical yield, and % yield are used to calculate specifics about chemicals used at Elizabeth G.'s wedding cake shop.
Concepts covered:
concentration, molarity, Beer's Law, half-life calculations, carbon dating, radioactive decay, nuclear equations.
Part One: Nitrate Soil Analysis
Spec-20s and absorbance data are used to determine concentration of suspect samples to see if they match soil samples from the crime scene.

Part Two:

Shoeprint Analysis
Shoeprints from each suspect are dusted, lifted, and preserved, then matched to evidence at the crime scene.
Part Three:

Bone Fragments
Half-life calculations will be used to determine the age of each of the bone fragments found at the crime scene.

Part Four: Medical Tracer
Students use half-life calculations to determine a timeline of the victim's death based on the amount of decay of a medical tracer found in her body.
Part One: Fingerprints
Match fingerprints to records to see which suspect's prints are on the various gun handles.
use school resource officer to introduce new victim and suspect.

Part Two:

Bullet Matching
Use electrochemistry and electic potentials to determine which bullet matches which guns.
Concepts covered:
electrochemistry, redox reactions, titrations, molarity, stoichiometry, pH, acids and bases.
Part Three: Gun Shot Residue
Students do titrations of suspect samples to determine which had a high enough acid concentration to be considered gun shot residue.

Part Four: Blood Analysis
Using pH and pOH calculations, students determine which samples on each suspect are blood, and whose blood it is.
Concepts covered:
IR spectra, organic functional groups, thin layer chromatography, Rf values, solvents and solutions.
Part One: IR Spectra
Identify IR spectra of drugs found in the lakehouse based on functional groups.

Part Two:

Caffeine Extraction
Extract caffeine from coffee to determine total amount of caffeine in confiscated amount from the lakehouse basement.
Part Three: TLC of Unknown Drug
Students use TLC to determine components present in the unkown drug found at the crime scene.

Part Four: TLC of Pens
Students use TLC to determine which pens found on the suspects match ink found in the drug logbook.
Full transcript