Children are often fascinated by forensic science, the study of materials from a crime scene to help solve a case. Forensic science is a multidisciplinary subject and includes biology, psychology, physics, social science and chemistry. Forensic games are useful learning tools for kids. They must apply logical thinking to find solutions for problems, a skill that will be useful their entire life.
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CSI Web Adventures
This adventure game is based on the CSI television series and is intended for middle school and high school students. It consists of three levels where children can learn the process of forensic investigation and experiments. This game teaches that one must pay attention to details before drawing a conclusion. CSI Web Adventures is produced by Rice University, CBS, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the National Science Foundation.
Identification by fingerprints is one of the methods forensic scientists use when investigating a crime. There are two types of fingerprints, visible and latent, and children might find it interesting to collect them. This game requires talcum and cocoa powder, a soft brush, clear tape, and dark and light coloured paper. Sprinkle the chalk on dark surfaces and the cocoa on light ones, then use the brush to dust away the powder in order for the fingerprint to be seen. The next step is to collect it with the tape and affix the tape to the opposite coloured paper.
In this game kids learn about chromatography, which is used to identify different inks. You need a glass of water, 3-4 strips of filter paper or a heavy paper towel, a craft stick or plastic rod, and different ink pens. Tape the strips to the stick so that you will be able to immerse them in the glass, with the stick resting on the glass. Make ink dots with different pens on the upper portion of the strips and place the strips in the glass so that the paper is immersed in water but the ink dots are above the water line. As the paper absorbs the water, you will see the ink separate into different colours.
Create an imaginary crime scene for children ages 10 to 16 to examine and solve the crime. The investigation should include different laboratories for collecting evidence and analysing suspects. Subjects for study can be fingerprints, evidence, and DNA. Groups of children can be split into two teams, as a competition. Besides learning how to solve a mystery by using the evidence, kids also learn how to work together in this game.
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