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Teachers Parents Students

The Power of Forensics


Popular prime time TV like CSI (in all its variations) shows have imbued forensics labs with glamour and intrigue, but beyond the lights, camera, and action of the stories we see unfold on TV, the world of real-life forensics offers drama all its own. Advancements in forensics science in the last several years has transformed the way evidence is treated, evaluated, and taken into account during investigations.

As happened just this month with Paul House, there have been many trial verdicts reversed and people exonerated of crimes based on newly available methods of testing. House, who had been on death row for 22 years, was released this month and cleared of all charges. As reported by CNN, according to Peter Neufeld, co-director of The Innocence Project, in the last three years, "substantial additional DNA testing and further investigation" proved House's innocence.

Twenty years ago, DNA testing wasn't available. Today, it is often the turning point between proving guilt and innocence.

The following Science Buddies' Science Fair Project Ideas offer a look at what's involved and the chance to turn a local school lab into a forensics lab. Crank up a playlist of CSI theme songs, starting with the well-known "Who are You" by the Who, and bring on the intrigue.


Science Buddies Science Activities

Science Buddies Summer Science Roundup


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School and family science weekly spotlight: melting ice chemistry.

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For families living in drought conditions, careful monitoring of water usage is especially important. With hands-on science and engineering projects, students can investigate water-saving strategies and science and engineering related to water conservation. Above: The effect of drought can be...

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City parklets provide interesting challenges for engineers, designers, and planners. With software from Autodesk and a fun Digital STEAM Workshop challenge, students can design their own parklets and see what is involved in reimagining a few parking spots as a social space.

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As the number of medications continues to rise, pharmacists play an increasingly powerful role in helping ensure patient wellbeing, safety, and quality of life. Beyond an apple a day, feeling better may require advice from a pharmacist!

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Visual illusions and other optical puzzles are fun for families to share and explore. With hands-on science projects and activities, students can create and test their own visual illusions--including a cool infinity mirror!

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School and family science weekly spotlight: the science of marinades



Your Science!
What will you explore for your science project this year? What is your favorite classroom science activity? Email us a short (one to three sentences) summary of your science project or teaching tip. You might end up featured in an upcoming Science Buddies newsletter!



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