Teaching overview

Learning points

  • Forensic science helps us understand what happened when a crime has been committed.
  • There are many different ways science can help to solve a crime.
  • We need as much evidence as possible from forensic scientists to be sure we get the right answers.

Curriculum keywords

  • Chemistry
  • Evidence
  • Experiments

5 things you didn't know

Forensic science

1. Forensic science can be extremely useful in helping to solve crimes – by studying crime scenes, scientists can find evidence (like fingerprints or weapons) that helps us understand what happened and who might be responsible.

Forensic scientists

2. Many different kinds of scientists can help the police with their investigations – forensic psychologists study the behaviour of criminals, while forensic dentists study the teeth of people who we can’t identify any other way.

Fingerprints

3. Five thousand years ago, people in China used thumbprints as signatures because they knew every person’s fingers had a unique pattern – now we use that knowledge to identify people that were at the scene of a crime.

DNA evidence

4. DNA doesn’t just catch criminals, it also tells us when innocent people were wrongly convicted of a crime. More than 350 innocent people have been let out of prison thanks to DNA evidence since 1989!

Gathering evidence

5. Forensic evidence is far from perfect – one piece of evidence isn’t enough to solve a crime, so forensic scientists have to gather as much information as possible to make sure they get it right.

Spark a discussion

  • What is forensic science used for?
  • How might different types of scientist help solve crimes?
  • Why is one piece of evidence not enough to convict someone of a crime?

Explore our resources

Complete your lesson with teaching resources on what lives on your skin from Tigtag.

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