Course Title: 
Course Description: 

Forensics Science 1-2

Grade Levels:..................................................... 10-11-12

Credit:........................... 1 Year – 1 Lab Science Credit

Prerequisites: None

In this class students will study the science of crime. Topics covered include DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, blood typing, collection of evidence and crime scene analysis. Students will learn how to be more observant, how to conduct an interview and how to analyze evidence. Many state science standards will be addressed, including scientific inquiry, how to conduct a scientific investigation, use of technology, genetics and DNA research. Students will have the opportunity to visit a crime lab and to question professional crime scene scientists.
This class may not replace Biology as a science requirement.

Forensics 1 and 2 Course Syllabus


Topics covered

In forensics we will almost always talk about crime scenes and the scientific principles and methods that are used to investigate and come to a conclusion about a particular incident or case.

Please understand that by the very nature of this course, we will be talking about potentially controversial subjects, decisions, tools, organisms and topics. Students are expected to keep an open mind and not resort to stereotypes. Unfortunately, society is not a perfect system, and some topics which we will talk about are due to common problems in society, which may be unpleasant to talk about for some people. If anything makes anybody uncomfortable, please talk to the instructor before or after class, and the issue will be addressed in a confidential manner.

As a result of CGUHS’s commitment to a cutting edge education, Forensics 1 and 2 are new classes, which will bring the student up on the latest investigative tools, scientific application and societal implications of the use of applied biology, chemistry, physics, forensics, DNA and other physical evidence.

AZ State Standards

This course is organized as an integrated science course which covers a variety of standards from different disciplines of science. Because of the ever changing nature of science and technology, some of the materials and standards below will be addressed from a forensics point of view, omitted, or significantly expanded on during the year, depending on availability of time and materials, student performance or current events, and scheduling flexibility. An overview of the AZ State Standards covered follows below:

Strand 1 Concept 1: Observations, Questions, and Hypotheses
PO 1. Evaluate scientific information for relevance to a given problem
PO 2. Develop questions from observations that transition into testable hypotheses.
PO 3. Formulate a testable hypothesis.
PO 4. Predict the outcome of an investigation based on prior evidence, probability, and/or modeling.

Strand 1 Concept 2: Scientific Testing (Investigating and Modeling)
PO 1. Demonstrate safe and ethical procedures (e.g., use and care of technology, materials, organisms) and behavior in all science inquiry.
PO 2. Identify the resources needed to conduct an investigation.
PO 3. Design an appropriate protocol (written plan of action) for testing a hypothesis
PO 4. Conduct a scientific investigation that is based on a research design.
PO 5. Record observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as journals, charts, graphs, and computers.

Strand 1 Concept 4: Communication
PO 3. Communicate results clearly and logically.
PO 4. Support conclusions with logical scientific arguments.

Strand 2 Concept 1: History of Science as a Human Endeavor
PO 3. Analyze how specific changes in science have affected society.
PO 4. Analyze how specific cultural and/or societal issues promote or hinder scientific advancements.

Strand 2 Concept 2: Nature of Scientific Knowledge
PO 1. Specify the requirements of a valid, scientific explanation (theory).
PO 2. Explain the process by which accepted ideas are challenged or extended by scientific innovation.
PO 3. Distinguish between pure and applied science.
PO 4. Describe how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of theories.

Strand 3 Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society
PO 3. Support a position on a science or technology issue.

Strand 3 Concept 3: Human Population Characteristics
PO 1. Analyze social factors in human populations (note: as they relate to crime).
PO 3. Predict the effect of a change in a specific factor on a human population.

Strand 4 Concept 1: The Cell
PO 1. Describe the role of energy in cellular growth, development, and repair.
PO 5. Describe the purposes and processes of cellular reproduction.

Strand 4 Concept 2: Molecular Basis of Heredity
PO 1. Analyze the relationships among nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), genes, and chromosomes.
PO 2. Describe the molecular basis of heredity, including DNA replication and protein synthesis.

Strand 5 Concept 1: Structure and Properties of Matter
PO 1. Describe substances based on their physical properties.
PO 2. Describe substances based on their chemical properties.
PO 6. Describe the features and components of the atom.

Strand 5 Concept 3: Conservation of Energy and Increase in Disorder
PO 6. Distinguish between heat and temperature.

Strand 5 Concept 4: Chemical Reactions
PO 3. Represent a chemical reaction by using a balanced equation.
PO 6. Solve problems involving such quantities as moles, mass, molecules, volume of a gas.

Strand 5 Concept 5: Interactions of Energy and Matter
PO 2. Describe the following characteristics of waves:
PO 3. Quantify the relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and the speed of light.

Laboratory Syllabus and Overview

Laboratory activities: The book we use in this class is Forensic Science, by Richard Saferstein(1st edition, 2008), and the accompanying laboratory manual, Basic Laboratory Exercises for Forensic Science. Most of the labs are taken from the manual and/or supplementary to the manual.

Month Laboratory/activity Chapter
Wk. 3 Locard’s exchange principle, Microscope 1
review, Analysis of article of clothing
Wk. 4 Anthropometric measuring 1

Wk.2 Crime scene sketch/notes/photo 2
Wk.3 Crime scene packaging techniques, chain
of custody 2
Wk.4 Fingerprinting lab part 1, minutiae and
Self-fingerprinting, database setup 14
Wk. 1 Fingerprinting lab pts 2, 3, 4, dusting for
Latent prints, lifting and comparison 14
Wk. 2 Handwriting analysis 16
Wk. 3 Unknown writing sample analysis
Paper chromatography of ink 16
Wk. 1 pH lab, titration of acids and bases and 6
Forensic toxicology
Wk. 2 Parts of the circulatory system and 6
Heart rate activity
Wk. 3 Parts of the respiratory system and 6
Lung capacity activity

Wk. 1 Crime Scene, collecting fingerprints, review
Comparison, finding the criminal

Wk. 2 Physical properties of matter 4
Wk. 3 Forensic glass analysis 4
Wk. 4 Spectroscopic analysis of solutions 4

Wk. 1 Kastle-Meyer Test 8
Wk. 2 Blood spatter lab, chemiluminescence
Detection of blood 8
Wk. 3 Human traits and phenotypes lab 8

Wk. 1 Review of Microscope, Hair lab 10
Wk. 2 Artificial and natural fibers lab 10
Wk. 3 Murder mystery crime scene report and
Analysis, applied glass and blood lab 10
Wk. 1 DNA modeling activity 9
Wk. 2 Gel Electrophoresis, Who’s the criminal 9
Wk. 3 Forensic Anthropology 9

Wk. 1 Crime scene, integrative review review

School Information: 
Casa Crande Union
Casa Grande
2730 N Trekell Rd
Zip code: 

Requested competency code:

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Plesae submit an example of a typical lab and a list of labs to be performed during the year.