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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: experiment with tonic water and a black light to learn more about fluorescence and light energy!

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Are you a picky eater? Maybe there is a scientific reason for your reluctance to eat certain foods even if you know they are good for you. Find out with a tongue-dyeing taste-testing science project!

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Catch the annual Perseids meteor shower and tie in some fun family astronomy science with an exploration of parallax. How far away are the things we see in the sky?

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School and family science weekly spotlight: make a solar oven from household and recycled materials.

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With different kinds of dried beans, plastic cups, and water, kids can model rocks and observe the way different sized particles in rocks affect how much water a rock can hold.

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Students can experiment with the engineering design process by trying to improve the durability of a simple handheld device.



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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