Description: To determine who committed a crime, students will analyze clues that may include testing of unknown powders, paper chromatography to identify ink, matching fingerprints, shoeprints or tire tracks.
Event Supervisor: Shane Storks
|Download the current rules here.|
| From the Event Coach Workshop.
|Sample answer sheet|
|Practice Investigation Kit Insert|
|This event uses an optical answer sheet (e.g.,Scantron) Learn more|
|There may be a "Quick Start Kit" available for this event.|
|See the Elementary Workshop List for this season|
Points are awarded for identifying the correct suspect(s). If innocent suspects are also named, a fraction of those points are taken off.
Yes. All the Scantron questions will be implications of Suspects A-E.
1 will be for the powders portion, 2 will be for the chromatography, 3-5 will be for the finger, foot, and tire prints respectively, 6 will be for unspecified evidence, and 7 will be for final criminal implication.
Half of the points come from performing the chromatography experiment correctly, and the other half comes from implicating the correct suspect(s).
No. The students will be provided everything they need. To see how this will look in the testing room, view the chromatography video we've posted.
There are at least 18 cups at each station, but there will likely be many more. The students will have more than enough and may ask for more if needed.
The students could be presented with either. If they are physical samples, they will be presented as a microscope slide. If they are photographs, they will be very magnified.
Cups will be filled with about 15 grams of powder total. Teams will be given about 10 mL of water. Students should learn to only use drops of water when experimenting.
The test will be age appropriate.
For example, blood found at the crime scene could be from the criminal accidentally getting a paper cut while committing the crime. No blood spatter analysis or other information relating to violent crime will be included. Students could be required to match characteristics of blood, such as blood types and DNA.
Students will be scored on their ability to name all powders in all six cups. There is a handwritten portion of the test for this, separate from the Scantron portion.
Liquids should be added to the powders in the plastic cups. Students will be provided spoons and extra empty cups to split up their samples and conduct tests on them. The black paper is helpful for looking at dry powders up close.
No. The only written part is the identification of powders.
This is a change from how students recorded answers on last year's test. It is not a Scantron form, but is extremely similar.
See an example of this new format.
Yes, any information may be included, provided that it is printed or written directly on the page.
Powder identification is still written and hand scored as before. Every "implication question utilizes the Scantron, and will be labled to match the form. Students will be given a numbered list of very specific implication questions to avoid confusion. For example, students might be asked which suspect(s) has the same powder(s) on them that were found at the crime scene. Similarly, they could be asked which suspect's ink sample on the chromatogram matches the ink sample from the crime scene.
In our traditional Scantron, students could only pick one answer among A thru E, and multiple correct answers would require the answers to include the specific combination as one potential choice.
An important aspect of this new "Scantron" format is the ability to score multiple correct answers in the same question. For example, if both B and D are correct matches, the student would be expected to mark both. Because of this new scoring capability, any combination could be answered. Students will be expected to select only the correct matches, and may lose points for answering incorrectly.
The scoring sheet lists parts A - G, and the rules lists parts 1 - 7. Those directly correlate. We changed the rules and the test this year to reduce confusion for the students, but the scoring program hasn't caught up yet.
Compare your score to the possible points:
Part A = Part 1: 38 points
Part B = Part 2: 18 points
Part C = Part 3: 6 points
Part D = Part 4: 3 points
Part E = Part 5: 5 points
Part F = Part 6: 15 points
Part G = Part 7: 15 points
They might or might not have the same matches. Students should only implicate two criminals if they see two suspects with the same number of implications over all sections.
Yes, however the calcium carbonate provided on the test will be in powder form and uncolored. Keep in mind that chalk may contain extra ingredients besides calcium carbonate.
Tums contains calcium carbonate as the active ingredient, however it will likely contain extra ingredients that can interfere with reactions.
Powdered calcium carbonate is available in bulk from several sources on Amazon at a cheap price. You may also find it at some pharmacy stores in powder form, or you may have to buy it in tablet form and crush it. Chalk can be a viable substitute if it is pure calcium carbonate.