Forensic Engineering

Engineer Investigators

Program ● Interactive ● Grades 3-8

Become a forensics engineer and help Kelvin find out who stole the blueprints for his secret, new design. Using principles of investigative science and forensic engineering, students will analyze evidence in the simulated crime scene using math, science, and technology. Embark on a new journey each day to decipher cryptic clues and biological codes, and help us identify the thief through chemical and mechanical analysis. Time is running out, and Kelvin needs your help!


Please Note: These lessons are not stand alone lessons and must be completed in order, as Lesson 1 builds to Lesson 2 and so on.

Day 1: Crack the Code

Kelvin’s lab has been robbed! This week, students will work as forensic engineers to analyze the facts and uncover the perpetrator. Today, we will work together in teams to analyze the crime scene, record all important information and clean up this mess so we can get to work. With so many of our tools broken or damaged, we’ll have to engineer our own way to analyze DNA from the crime scene and catch the thief!

Day 2: Identification Lab

One of the most exciting aspects of forensic engineering is examining trace evidence and materials, which often provide the most critical evidence for an investigation. Forensic engineers can use math and science to determine a suspect’s shoe size, the manufacturer of a particular tool, or the type of soil found on discarded clothes to deduce facts about a particular crime. We have found some new evidence both inside Kelvin’s lab and also outside that we will be analyzing today to get one step closer to identifying who stole Kelvin’s secret plans! Using the latest forensic engineering technology, we will look at a broad spectrum of tools, tire tracks, and fingerprints to narrow down our list of suspects and identify the guilty party.

Day 3: Car Crash Clean Up

We have received a call from the police who have discovered some unusual broken glass about two blocks down the street. Since some mud found at the scene matches the mud on our tool imprints, they think the crash might be related to our investigation. Today, we’ll work to reconstruct the car crash and analyze the glass fragments for clues. We are getting so close, but Kelvin says time is running out. We need to use the materials available in the lab to reconstruct the car crash.

Day 4: Ransom

Last night, Kelvin discovered a ransom note posted to his chalk board. The lead investigators have sent the note off to the lab to for further analysis, but that may take some time to get the results back. While we wait, we are going to perform our own tests to see what we can uncover without the note in hand. Before leaving, the investigators did let us know that there was a small spill on the corner of the note, a smudge of what seems to be some organic material and the writing was in either pen or marker. We need to create a catalog of possible matches so we can get to the bottom of this as soon as the note is returned to us.

Day 5: Liar, Liar

Time is running out! We have to solve this mystery today! What better way to figure out what happened than to bring all of the suspects in for questioning? During this final day of cmap, groups will analyze the evidence and solve the crime. By building and testing two different lie detectors, we will select one to question our suspects and find out who stole Kelvin’s laptop.