Category: Technology. Last updated June 20, 2023.

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Whodunit? Can chemistry solve the mystery? Heading into a forensics lab opens up a world of chemistry. Learn about the science behind crime investigations and try some of the techniques for yourself with these links.


  1. Activities
  2. Demos
  3. Labs
  4. Articles
  5. Videos


  • Forensic Chemistry Crossword from AACT
    Challenged your club to solve forensic chemistry themed clues in order to complete a crossword puzzle.
  • Tales from the Poisoner's Handbook from PBS Learning Media
    You enjoyed Deborah Blum's bestselling book, now bring it into your classroom with this interactive graphic novel.
  • At Your Fingertips from PBS NOVA Teachers
    Are you mainly a loop, whorl, or an arch? What about your classmates? Learn about the information found in fingerprint patterns.
  • Finding Fingerprints from Scientific American
    Your fingers may be leaving behind more than you think. Look for hidden evidence with household powders.


  • Creating Light with Luminol from AACT
    Observe a chemical reaction that releases energy in the form of light, demonstrating chemiluminescence.
  • Forensic Glow-Blood System from Flinn Scientific
    You arrive at a crime scene only to find that all of the blood that may have been present has dried and is no longer visible. How can you determine if and where the blood is present? Use forensics to demonstrate a chemiluminescent blood detection solution similar to those used by forensic scientists to detect the presence of simulated blood.
  • Footwear Forensics from Flinn Scientific
    Tracks left by footwear are valuable pieces of evidence at crime scenes that are often overlooked. Learn the different ways that tracks from shoes can be used to develop possible suspects in a criminal case.


  • The Case of the Contaminated Well from AACT
    Take on the role of a forensic investigator and use results to help determine if collected evidence was contaminated.
  • Investigating a Suspicious Drowning with Titrations from AACT
    Conduct a series of titrations on an evidence sample of water collected from a victim's lungs as well as on several water samples from local water sources (lakes, rivers, wells, etc.) Based on the findings, you will determine where the victim actually drowned.
  • The Search for a Hit and Run Suspect from AACT
    Consider the specific heat capacity of multiple unknown metal samples as you take on the role of a forensic investigator and use results to help determine if a suspect’s vehicle was potentially involved in a hit and run incident.
  • How Modern Instrumentation Revolutionized the Poison Game from AACT
    Why was murder by poison so prevalent during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but is so rare today?
  • Determining the Time of Death from AACT
    Perform a flame test on a(fake) sample of vitreous humor to determine which is used to determine the time of death. Then evaluate the sample with an engineered spectrophotometer to determine the time of death for a hypothetical cadaver.
  • The Shattered Glass Mystery from AACT
    Take on the role of a Forensic Scientist to help solve a hit and run investigation using physical properties of matter, such as density and refractive index to help identify evidence samples such as glass.
  • 20 Virtual Labs & Activities for Forensic Science from The Trendy Science Teacher
    Has your hands-on gone virtual? No worries! These activities take forensics online.
  • Ink Investigation from Flinn Scientific
    The mysterious message was written in black ink. But which pen could it have come from? Does chromatography have an answer?
  • The Forensic Examiner from Flinn Scientific
    Cause of death: unknown. Was it from natural causes? Try these tests to find out.
  • Forensic Science Lesson List from Terrific Science
    Head into the lab and start investigating the evidence. Can you solve a crime like “The Great Cafeteria Caper” and several others?


  • Tales of Concrete Forensics from ChemMatters Magazine
    Concrete is everywhere! We rely on it to build roads, buildings, bridges, and sewage systems. But if poorly applied, concrete will quickly crack and flake. Investigators can often reveal where the chemistry went wrong and how to fix it.
  • How Reliable Is Forensic Evidence? from ChemMatters
    Is the “CSI effect” a good thing?
  • The Future of Forensics from ChemMatters
    For years, flawed assumptions about forensics contributed to the wrongful imprisonment of many innocent people. Science has set the field on a correction course.
  • Fingerprint Detection from Compound Interest
    What will it be? Dusting? Fuming? Developing? This infographic lays out your fingerprinting options.

  • Luminol, Blood & Horseradish from Compound Interest
    The crime scene is lighting up! What caused it—an out-of-control sandwich or a crime?


  • CSI Special Insects Unit: Forensic Entomology from SciShow
    Michael Aranda walks you through the crime-fighting science of forensic entomology, the study of insects used in criminal investigations.

  • How Does Fluorescence Work? From ACS Reactions
    There's a lot of chemistry behind what makes a fluorescent color stand out so brightly from the rest. Today we're digging into what makes them pop, and we're going highlight some of the brilliant applications of fluorescence coming out of nanotechnology.

  • TV Forensics: What Do CSAs Actually Do? From ACS Reactions
    We all love detective crime dramas and TV shows, like CSI Miami, Law and Order, Magnum P.I, True Detective and NCIS. This video will show you what really happens in forensics science lab.

  • The Science of Crime: Forensics Explained from SciShow
    This video investigates a murder using forensics, which is the science of criminal law -- but the truth is, it's a little different than what you see on TV.