"Screenwriting was awesome, our kids really loved these activities. It was also really nice to provide such a creative curriculum that addresses the standards in such a fun way." - Heather S., Director, After School, City of Fairfield, CA
“Having taught at the high school and college level, I was impressed with this curriculum. The materials and guidance were well put together and very thoughtful." - Michael L., Artist, Shea After School, Syracuse, NY
“This amazing program has enabled my students to comprehend the process of forensic science as well as the sophisticated vocabulary encompassed in the program's lessons.” - Erica T., Freehold Public Schools, Freehold, NJ
“This is a well organized course that I would highly recommend to other programs.” - Chad S., Teacher, School #18, Buffalo, NY
“The program is awesome! I’m doing it as part of an after school enrichment time. Our kids really enjoy the projects and it’s wonderful to use as everything is provided.” - Karen S.,Teacher, Olympic Middle School, WA
“This is the perfect kind of activity for afterschool. It’s fun; students learn by getting involved. Everybody wants to be a part of it!” - Kim L., Program Leader, Child and Adolescent Treatment Services, Buffalo NY
“They love it…it’s awesome. Kids are dying to get in it!” - Audrey A., Teacher, Clifford Marshall Elementary School, Quincy, MA
“The Missing Money Mystery was very easy to follow. The children had such a great time at it, we even allowed our group to re-enact the entire mystery. This mystery was fantastic, and we are looking forward to our next exercise!” - Jackie. J., Director/Detective, Hempstead P.A.L., Hempstead, NY
“The students were engaged and enjoyed the experiments. The story keeps the activities meaningful and provided an interested way to connect Florida Standards. The teacher’s manual was easy to follow and materials in the kits made it very convenient for set up. Overall, this is a great thing to do in afterschool and during the summer!” - Betty C., Teacher, Genesis Center, Leesburg FL
“Playing with Percussion offers an exciting doorway to exploring percussion, communication skills and learning about different cultures." - Sheila K., Site Leader, Accord Corp, Youth Services Division, Belfast NY
"Our kids enjoyed making their own instruments, especially sanding. Playing all those grooves at the end was a lot of fun!" - Nina P., Music teacher, Napa, CA
“The Cookie Jar Mystery was such a big hit at the middle school…which has been tough.”
-Charlie E., Teacher, Lexington County Schools, SC
"The Cookie Jar Mystery went really well, the kids talked about it for weeks. They were very excited and intrigued with the hands-on activities and I really enjoyed teaching it!"
-Brook T.,Teacher, Lincoln Middle Schools, TN
Get ready to embark on an exciting adventure in the world of forensic science!
The Cookie Jar Mystery is a fun, forensic science mini-course consisting of six modules designed to engage middle school students in grade 6-8. In Mrs. Johnson’s classroom, a curious crime has taken place: her favorite cookie jar has been broken and not surprisingly, some of her delicious, homemade cookies have been eaten! As a scientist and teacher, Mrs. Johnson realizes that this unfortunate incident provides a “teachable moment”—an opportunity to teach students how to use the tools of forensic science, understand the crime, and find the guilty party!
To introduce students to forensic science through a classroom crime scene investigation and mock trial.
In The Cookie Jar Mystery, instructors and students participate in the investigation, aided by the clues and developments in the case revealed in the ongoing story of Mrs. Johnson’s classroom. Although every module moves students closer to a final conclusion and the guilty suspect, each module is fully self-contained, providing a complete science module/lab, all of the activities and assessments to support student understanding, and an engaging chapter in the story of the crime.
To kick off the series, students are introduced to the classroom caper through observing the re-created crime scene of the broken cookie jar and surrounding clues. Students learn about the steps of the investigation, chain of custody and the identities of the four suspects in question.
Students then examine the most obvious clue — the note left behind at the crime scene. They explore handwriting analysis by comparing the note to suspect's writing samples and then conduct chromatography tests on the pens found on each of the suspects.
Students move next to learning about the famous French scientist, Edmond Locard, often referred to as the grandfather of forensic science who believed “every contact leaves a trace.” Students will examine and compare both hair and fiber samples found at the crime scene to that of the suspects.
Upon further examination of the evidence, it’s discovered that there were fingerprints and a shoeprint discovered at the crime scene. Students will study fingerprint patterns, make matches and analyze samples taken from the suspects.
Now your students’ are ready to delve deeper by looking at unique evidence pieces covering blood types and DNA from blood samples. Students will conduct blood typing experiments to look for possible matches from the suspect samples.
Students will conclude the case by consulting all the data and present who they believe to be guilty based on their new knowledge of forensic science and the evidence discovered. Students will then prepare a case for either the prosecution or the defense in a mock courtroom complete with judge and jury!
At the conclusion of the investigation, your students will take apply their knowledge of forensic science to the courtroom seeking a conviction in a mock trial. Students can work off an existing script or create their entire cases with opening statements, introducing evidence and by providing expert witnesses testimony. A great way to take the learning further!