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Forensic Chemistry Crossword (2 Favorites)

ACTIVITY in Interdisciplinary. Last updated September 20, 2019.


In this activity, students are challenged to solve forensic chemistry themed clues in order to complete a crossword puzzle.

Grade Level

High school


By the end of this activity, students should be able to

  • Explain how fundamental chemistry practices can be applied to a forensic investigation.
  • Recognize that forensic scientists use chemistry techniques to analyze evidence.

Chemistry Topics

This lesson supports students’ understanding of

  • Real-word connections
  • Interdisciplinary topics (forensic science)


Teacher Preparation: minimal

Lesson: 20-30 minutes


  • Forensic chemistry crossword puzzle


  • No specific safety precautions need to be observed for this activity.

Teacher Notes

  • The Forensic Science Teacher Magazine created this Forensic Chemistry themed crossword puzzle to appear in the September 2016 issue of Chemistry Solutions.
  • The Forensic Science Teacher Magazine is a fantastic free resource for science teachers. Over 25 issues of this magazine have been published, each containing classroom-ready resources for teachers! Check out their website, www.theforensicteacher.com, to find helpful links, mini-mysteries, how-to guides and much more.
  • This puzzle was developed in hopes of being used in chemistry classrooms to promote the ACS National Chemistry Week 2016 theme Solving Mysteries through Chemistry.
  • This activity could be used as a research opportunity in a typical chemistry class, so that students have the opportunity to learn about the many real-world applications of chemistry.

For the Student

Forensic Chemistry


2. Flammable liquid used in arson
4. The chemical name of Superglue
5. When this halogen sublimates the vapors
deposit themselves on a latent fingerprint
6. The concentration of this metal ion in the eyeball
helps determine time of death
7. Reacts with the iron in hemoglobin to produce
9. The medical study of the chemistry, effects, and
treatment of poisonous substances
11. EDTA or sodium citrate, used to keep blood from
12. When this ionic compound reacts with the
sodium chloride left behind in a fingerprint, gray
silver chloride shows the print
14. The yellow liquid of blood after the cell have
been removed
15. A potent poison, this element burns bright green
in a flame test
16. This type of chemical identification test turns a
hue if positive for a narcotic; used by field


1. A process that separates a mixture of different
chemicals into its individual components
2. The type of chemistry used to solve crimes, both
quantitative and qualitative
3. Chemical used to visualize fingerprints on
porous surfaces; makes pink prints
8. Produced by a body's muscles after death, this
substance is responsible for rigor mortis
10. 1918 NYC toxicologist who revolutionized and
standardized the field
13. The majority of evidence submitted to crime labs
comes from this sort of crime
14. A process used to make many copies of a
defined segment of DNA