Forensic Science Laboratory Experiments

There are a variety of activities for Forensics. You can find some of our more commonly requested activities below the request forms on this page, or you can view our up-to-date list of all activities.

Forensics Middle School complete list

Forensics High School complete list


Scheduling Form for activities designated as “Biology Mobile Educator”

Feedback Form for activities designated as “Biology Mobile Educator”


Scheduling Form for activities designated as “Chem/Phys Mobile Educator”

Feedback Form for activities designated as “Chem/Phys Mobile Educator”


Commonly Requested Activities for Biology:

DNA Fingerprinting (possible follow up activity)

Students use provided images of DNA fingerprinting gels to determine paternity and to match a crime scene sample to a suspect.  Can be used as a stand-alone lab, or a follow-up after the Gel Electrophoresis lab.

Faces / Forensic art

Students act as “eyewitnesses” and use a forensic art program to draw faces of suspects.

Teacher Notes for Faces/Forsensic art

 Gel Electrophoresis with Food Color

Students pour their own gels, load the gels with food coloring solutions, run the gels, and analyze the results  Gel Electrophoresis Chamber

Protein Identification Through Immunoassay

Students use an immunoassay to show how forensic scientists can determine if blood on a bumper is from a human or another animal.

Teacher Notes for Immunoassay Lab

Sherlock Bones (forensics) skeleton

Students study properties of bones to determine sex, race, height and age.

Student Data Sheet - Long Form

Student Data Sheet - Short Form


Spheros are paired with a Kindle Fire (provided) through the SpheroEdu app. Beginners can draw a path for the Sphero robot to follow, intermediate users can drag and drop blocks of code, and advanced users can write text programs using JavaScript. Provide your own activities, or use one of the SpheroEdu prepared modules aligned to NGSS, CCSS, and various state standards.

Contact Science In Motion staff for more information.

Trace Evidence Lab

Students use microscopes to examine a variety of animal hairs and fibers. This kit also includes materials to make your own wet mount slides of trace evidence such as pollen or human hair. A vial of diatoms and a diatom identification book are also provided.

Whale Lab / Mislabeling Food

Students are given DNA sequences of common seafood, then use BLAST to identify which fish it is and whether or not it has been mislabeled. 

Whale of a Tale student instructions

Commonly Requested Activities for Chemistry/Physical Science:

Ballistics lab

Students study bullets & casings, as well as identify shooting trajectory of a bullet hole/wound

FTIR (Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy)

Fibers: identification of fibers and fabrics in a forensic analysis

Liquid: students obtain spectra of several pure liquids and identify an unknown

Adhesives: compare and identify adhesive tape and labels

Plastics: analyze and identify plastics

The Great American Heist – This activity sets up a school crime scene where a mascot has been stolen with a note, fibers, a liquid, and a white powder are left behind. There are analyses of each of these pieces of evidence that may be done all together or separate:

Heist Introduction

Chain of Evidence Form

The Note: students identify the ink on the note with TLC (see description of TLC below)

TLC of Ink Middle School (The Note)

The Fibers: students identify the fibers with dyes and/or FTIR (see description of FTIR above)

The Liquid: students identify the liquid using our mini-GC (gas chromatography)

The White Powder: students identify the white powder by melting point

Thin Layer & Paper Chromatography

Introduction to Chromatography

Analgesics:  Students run TLC on acetaminophen, aspirin,  and caffeine. They then identify three unknown analgesics made from a mixture of the above.

Ink: Students run TLC on various inks to determine an unknown ink sample 

TLC of Ink Middle School (middle school level)

Lipstick Chromatography Students run TLC on lipstick samples, then match an unknown sample to one of the knowns. 

Marker: Students use paper chromatography to separate the inks in markers, then identify an unknown marker