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“Great products...one of the best curriculum's out there, great help for teaching our video class" -Christine R., Principal, Trinity Lutheran School, Kalispell, MT

"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

Missing Money Mystery: An Introduction to Forensic Science Classroom Kit for Grades 2-3


Price:
$349.00
SKU:
MMM800-CR
Shipping:
$20.00 (Fixed shipping cost)

Product Description

This fun, interactive learning program immerses students in grades 2-3 into scientific discovery as they work to solve the mystery of the stolen funds. Kids will test their CSI skills as they work the case and discover the guilty party!

Crime Scenario

The Missing Money Mystery is based on the premise that a crime occurred in Mr. Mugg’s fourth grade classroom at Markwell Elementary. A canister holding the money for an upcoming geocaching field trip disappeared sometime after dismissal on a Monday afternoon. Mr. Mugg knows his students have been looking forward to this special trip which will introduce them to the natural world through a real-life treasure hunt, so he decides to undertake the investigation himself—with the help of your students.

How it Works

To launch his investigation, Mr. Mugg uses the classroom computer to learn about forensic science and the necessary activities, tools, and tests he needs to solve the crime. He shares this information with your students through a series of emails. He then locates and gathers the clues and packages and sends them in a box to your classroom. Inside this box are all the materials needed by your students to conduct the investigation, including photographs, scientific equipment and “evidence.”

Each lesson introduces new intriguing evidence, forensic techniques, and insight toward solving the Missing Money Mystery. Together, your students work toward the most plausible scenarios and celebrate their findings in the concluding lesson with certificates honoring their work as forensic investigators.

To learn more about scope and sequence of this course, take a look at the Lessons tab on this page.

What's Included

The Classroom version of the Missing Money Mystery includes a comprehensive 107 page Instructor's Guide, Teacher Resource CD which includes student handouts, supply list, training tutorials, and the essential supplies to conduct experiments with your class.  

All included supplies are listed on the Components tab on this page.

Preparing to Teach

Instructors will find The Missing Money Mystery easy and fun to teach. Each lesson provides 1-3 activities that teaches a new but related aspect of scientific reasoning and a particular scientific process.  The text is easy to read and understand, the set-ups are detailed and uncomplicated, and the processes and procedures are clearly explained in each lesson plan. 

In addition, you'll find video tutorials for each lesson located on the Tools for Teaching tab on this page. 

Lessons

Course Outline

The Missing Money Mystery is comprised of 12 lessons, designed each to take approximately 1-hour, for a class of 30 students. 

Lesson 1: Figuring Out Forensics - Organization and Observation

A mysterious "bag of stuff," and some peculiar foreign coins launch learners on the trail of a fugitive from justice. Explore the power of description in this exciting introductory lesson.

Lesson 2: Securing the Scene – Collecting Evidence

Wrongdoers, beware! Learners visit the scene of the crime and use real forensic techniques (such as triangulation) to begin the search for trace evidence that will point to a thief!

Lesson 3: Powder Power - Solutions or Suspensions?

Don’t let our sneaky cash-snatcher get away! The plot thickens (and so do some solutions—or are they suspensions?) as students experiment with different mysterious white powders.

Lesson 4: Natural or Not - Fiber Identification

Weave together the threads of a crime in an activity that allows learners to practice a proven technique in forensic fiber analysis. Then put on your deerstalker and set your Sherlockian sights on classifying the evidence. It's elementary, dear Watson! 

Lesson 5: Tracking the Tires - Tread Patterns

The plot thickens as Mr. Muggs asks his students to examine the strange pattern of tire tread evidence discovered outside his window. Can you figure out who rode the getaway bicycle?

Lesson 6: Digging for Dirt - Soil Samples

Another form of trace evidence gets the "detective treatment" in this fascinating lesson, as learners explore the work of forensic geologists and sort through soil samples, and chart their observations in their detective notebooks!  

Lesson 7: Cast a Clue – Shoe Print Evidence

The guilty party had no idea what they had stepped in. Students analyze shoe prints left at the crime scene to determine if any of the suspects were there.

Lesson 8: Crack the Code - Cryptograms

It may not be quite as challenging as the DaVinci Code, but the coded message left on Mr. Mugg's desk just might point to a clever thief. Learners uncover many secrets of the alphabet (and of master criminals!) in this deciphering activity.

Lesson 9: Lifting Lips - Lip Prints

Does our crook have a crooked smile? Learners "lift," classify, and compare their own lip prints in order to unlock the patterns of this unique form of evidence. 

Lesson 10: Proof in Profiling - DNA Identification

The case is nearly cracked when students compare strands of suspects' DNA, and begin to close in on the real culprit. This authentic investigatory procedure explores genetic markers.

Lesson 11: Suspicious Statements: Means, Motive and Opportunity

Students take a careful look at the letters each suspect wrote in the beginning of the year to see any possible connections between their interests and the classroom crime.

Lesson 12: Case Closed: Analyzing the Evidence

Students test their analytical skills when all of the evidence is laid on the table—and will lead our detectives to point their collective fingers at the guilty party: mystery solved! 

 

Components

What's Included?

The Classroom version of the Missing Money Mystery contains an Instructor Guide, Resource CD and all the essential items needed to teach a class of up to 30 students.  

Every step is taken to provide an easy-to-follow format and informative, fun-to-read instructions for each lesson. In addition to a brief listing of objectives, materials, and set-up procedures, useful icons point the instructor to a number of key elements:

Notes for the Instructor: Brief instructor notes introduce the subject matter and challenges presented in the particular lesson. They often contain real-life, age-appropriate examples from crime in history or popular culture.

Notes for the Students: These notes “set the stage” for each lesson by presenting brief material to read, listen to, and discuss.

Vocabulary: New and relevant terms are defined here. Note, too, the comprehensive “Glossary” at the end of the Instructor’s Guide and Student Books.

Activity Description: Here, step-by-step procedures are provided for both the instructor’s demonstration and the students’ immersion in the activity.

Wrap-up: Discussion-provoking questions and summary-type activities are designed to revisit the day’s learning and help students take their inquiry further.

Clean-up: Clear instruction on preserving and storing materials is provided to ensure kit longevity and cost effectiveness.

Other Destinations: To extend lessons and deepen understanding across disciplinary and cultural divides, relevant links to multimedia, web resources, and fun at-home or extension activities are provided here.

Teacher Resource CD

The Teacher Resource CD for the Missing Money Mystery includes all the copy masters for student handouts, activities, lesson extensions like crossword puzzles to reinforce newly learned used vocabulary and learning aides. Links to forensic videos and other multimedia resources provide authentic lesson extensions in addition to teacher tutorials for each hands-on activity. 

Supplies

Packed and labeled, each supply item and tools needed to solve the mystery in a organized in a way that makes the course easy to teach again and again. Among some of these materials are: foreign coins, soil samples t dropper bottles, printing powder , bicycle tire samples, powder samples, fiber sample and more!

The Missing Money Mystery Kit Includes:

1 x Instructor’s Guide 1 x Teacher Resource CD
3 x Tire samples (set of 5) 15 x Hand lenses
4 x Fabric samples 1 x Crime Scene tape
15 x Textured objects 4 x Lipstick
1 x 500mL beaker 200 x Portion cups
10 x Mirrors 15 x Tweezers
1 x Funnel 3 x Petroleum jelly
3 x Soil samples 200 x Wooden splints
3 x Shoe polish sponges 3 x Scrub brushes
10 x Measuring tapes 3 x Paint brushes
1 x Metal tongs 10 x Feathers
20 x Dropper bottles 1 x Dusting powder
75 x Plastic coins 1 x Package of index cards
1 x Vinegar 1 x Container of baking soda 
1 x Container of salt  1 x Container of powdered sugar 
1 x Container of plaster of paris  1 x Hand lotion
3 x Votive candles 1 x Container of cornstarch

Tools for Teaching

Preparing to Teach

To help your teachers get off to a great start, we created the following tutorials that demonstrate activity set-ups.

Click for quick access to training resources for:

Lesson 1 Lesson 5 Lesson 9
Lesson 2 Lesson 6 Lesson 10
Lesson 3 Lesson 7 Lesson 11
Lesson 4 Lesson 8 Lesson 12

 

Lesson 1: Figuring Out Forensics - Organization and Observation

A mysterious "bag of stuff," and some peculiar coins launch learners on the trail of a fugitive from justice. Explore the power of description in this exciting introductory lesson.

Take your time as you work through the activities in this lesson. Activity 1, which seems deceptively simple, communicates the concept of properties and descriptive wording. Then move on to the coin activity to further practice these new techniques.

Extensions: 

Check out the FBI’s website for kids.

How observant are you?   Can you find 9 people in this picture?

Play interactive memory and observation games .  Try “Spot the Difference”, “Test Your Memory”, and “Power of Observation”.

Lesson 2: Securing the Scene – Collecting Evidence

Wrongdoers, beware! Learners visit the scene of the crime and use real forensic techniques (such as triangulation) to begin the search for trace evidence that will point to a thief!

Use special care to keep learners out of the “crime scene” area and use the opportunity to underline how careless investigators can contaminate crime scenes. Encourage students to move methodically through the crime scene as they measure; in this lesson make the distinction between evidence and suspicions. 

Extensions:

Solve the mystery of the broken aquarium

Watch a crime!  Be a witness!  Then test your eyewitness skills with a crime scene quiz.

Check out many more forensics links.

Lesson 3: Powder Power - Solutions or Suspensions?

Don’t let our sneaky cash-snatcher get away! The plot thickens (and so do some solutions—or are they suspensions?) as students experiment with different mysterious white powders.

This lesson requires some extra “set-up” before it begins. Read through the set-up instructions carefully.

Extensions:

Learn how a chemical reaction happens.

What do you know about poisons

Learn a poison prevention song!

Take a tour to learn about chemicals around your house.  

Lesson 4: Natural or Not - Fiber Identification

Weave together the threads of a crime in an activity that allows learners to practice a proven technique in forensic fiber analysis. Then put on your deerstalker and set your Sherlockian sights on classifying the evidence. It's elementary, dear Watson! 

Have students practice using the tweezers and hand lenses before you begin the activity.

Extensions:

Learn about some history of the fabric industry.

Increase your knowledge about types of fibers by looking at microscopic images and diagrams.

Learn more about types of cloth and fibers from Science Olympiad

Lesson 5: Tracking the Tires - Tread Patterns

The plot thickens as Mr. Muggs asks his students to examine the strange pattern of tire tread evidence discovered outside his window. Can you figure out who rode the getaway bicycle?

This is a lesson in which you might want to practice the sequence of making tracks and recording the data so that you have a “working example” to show your students.

Extensions:

Learn all about bicycle safety.

Read about how impression evidence works.

Lesson 6: Digging for Dirt - Soil Samples

Another form of trace evidence gets the "detective treatment" in this fascinating lesson, as learners explore the work of forensic geologists and sort through soil samples, and chart their observations in their detective notebooks! 

Before starting the lab, ask students to examine their own clothing and shoes to see if there’s any evidence of where they have been (or what they had for breakfast!).

Forensic geology comes to the fore in this lesson; use this opportunity to point out that forensics has many specialties.

Extensions:

Try three fabulous activities to explore soil.

Discover  exactly how soil is a layer of our earth.

Read more about forensic soil analysis.

Lesson 7: Cast a Clue – Shoe Print Evidence

The guilty party had no idea what they had stepped in. Students analyze shoe prints left at the crime scene to determine if any of the suspects were there.

You should prepare for this lesson my making a shoe print of your own so that you have a "working example" to show to the students.

Extensions:

Watch some forensics episodes from PBS Kids. 

Read some notes on shoeprint technology.

Watch videos on the photographing and casting of shoe prints.

Look at a diagram of how shoeprints change with different types of movements.  

Lesson 8: Crack the Code - Cryptograms

It may not be quite as challenging as the DaVinci Code, but the coded message left on Mr. Mugg's desk just might point to a clever thief. Learners uncover many secrets of the alphabet (and of master criminals!) in this deciphering activity.

Students who are “quick” may easily finish ahead of others; encourage these students to develop their own codes and practice by writing their names or short messages to share with their partners.

Extensions:

Write a secret message and turn it into code. 

Learn beginner codes and secret writing techniques.

Try some cryptology activities from the NSA.

Read about the National Cryptologic Museum.

Lesson 9: Lifting Lips - Lip Prints

Does our crook have a crooked smile? Learners "lift," classify, and compare their own lip prints in order to unlock the patterns of this unique form of evidence. 

This lesson is also an opportunity to discuss fingerprints, and the difference between unique evidence and conclusive evidence. Unique evidence may point to one person, but it’s not always conclusive! Ask students for other sources of prints (such as hands and feet).

Extensions:

Learn about Forensic Dentistry.

Check out some great lip print pictures.

Discover more about the science of cheiloscopy (lip tracing).

Lesson 10: Proof in Profiling - DNA Identification

The case is nearly cracked when students compare strands of suspects' DNA, and begin to close in on the real culprit. This authentic investigatory procedure explores genetic markers.

Instructors are advised to read and completely understand this lesson before teaching it. DNA is a complex subject—but helping students understand it will go much more easily if you understand DNA yourself!

Extensions:

Try out several different genetics activities.

Learn what DNA ,  chromosomes, and traits are.

Engage in an interactive lab to determine  a culprit based on DNA fingerprinting.

Learn more about DNA and forensics.

See what an actual DNA gel electrophoresis experiment looks like.

Lesson 11: Suspicious Statements: Means, Motive and Opportunity

Students take a careful look at the letters each suspect wrote in the beginning of the year to see any possible connections between their interests and the classroom crime.

Encourage the student investigators to take their time reading and analyzing the statements in this activity.  Each statement should be read through several times.

Extensions:

Learn about statement analysis skills.

Have you ever wondered how a lie detector works?

Learn how to tell if someone is being less than truthful.

Lesson 12: Case Closed: Analyzing the Evidence

Students test their analytical skills when all of the evidence is laid on the table—and will lead our detectives to point their collective fingers at the guilty party: mystery solved! 

Critical thinking gets a workout in Lesson 12. As you work, remind students that what they are doing in analysis is the same sort of thing they do in preparing an essay or writing a report: they gather disparate pieces of information and try to put it into a coherent whole.

This activity really tests brainpower and creativity. When the course is completed and the crime has been solved, don’t hesitate to issue a “Crime Investigator’s License” to your students.

Extensions:

Use your deductive reasoning to stop Hacker before he ruins Eco Haven.

Things are not always what they seem.  Try Lateral Thinking brain boosters.

Explore other science topics with The Black Hole Gang.