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Fake - Forensics activity from Wikid

  • Key Stage 3
  • SciQ Sequences

Type: Activity
Learning Strategy: Imaginative inquiry
Topic: Atoms

This activity is a sample from the upd8 wikid Y7 programme Find out more about the course.

Introduction to the Forensics unit
A crime always leaves some trace. What chemical techniques and reactions can scientists use to identify these clues? How do they work? As a forensic scientist, you have to build up a case to tie the suspect to the crime scene. What kinds of evidence will you collect, and how much do you need? In this unit, students play the role of Billie, the trainee, eager to prove their worth, opening up old cases and using science to bring criminals to justice.

About this activity
'Crime' is one of six activities in the sequence. Students learn about the particle model to solve a crime that has been committed in an art gallery. All the time, they are encouraged not just to try the technique but to understand what's going on in terms of particles.

The story so far...
As the valuable painting is still hanging on the wall, Billie and Dragon wonder what the crime actually was. They decide to check the painting for fingerprints. Students see that the traditional way of brushing on charcoal is not very good, as it smudges the prints. Under the guidance of forensic scientist Dr Sherl, they try out a different method, which uses the sublimation of iodine.

11-14 How Science Works:
This unit focusses on the skill of 'evaluating evidence': strategy 1.2e and f and APPs.

To be able to evaluate evidence, the ideas of reliability and accuracy must be applied to considering the data. Only after a critical appraisal of these factors can any real patterns be identified in the data.

Published: 3rd June 2008
Reviews & Comments: 16

Learning objectives

- If we imagine substances are made up of tiny particles, then we can explain what happens in changes of state.
- Particles in liquids and gases can move because their particles are not joined together
(Building on previous understanding) solids and liquids can be changed physically

Try the activity

You will need Acrobat Reader installed to open the activity sheets.

The particle model provides explanations for the different physical properties and behaviour of matter (Strategy Framework 3.1)

Running the activity

Download the lesson plan for full details.

News links

upd8 wikid course
Details of the science ourse for 11-14 year olds from which this sample came
upd8 Segue course
Details of the Y9-GCSE transition course that follows on from Wikid.
Wikid assessment criteria: Missions
To assess students' grasp of particles from this activity, or other objectives in the Wikid course. It is a booklet of assessment criteria at every level of understanding.

Reviews & Comments

Write your online review to share your feedback and classroom tips with other teachers. How well does it work, how engaging is it, how did you use it, and how could it be improved?


Sep 18th, 2013

5 Star

students really enjoyed this activity

Reviewer: Charlene Gayle

Fake - Forensics activity from Wikid review

Jan 29th, 2013

5 Star


Reviewer: cat tacy

Fake - Forensics activity from Wikid review

Oct 21st, 2012

5 Star


Reviewer: Sarfraz Shah


Sep 3rd, 2012

5 Star

Built the activties into my own Forensic Science unit. Worked very well. My pupils enjoyed the activities and were able to apply their knowledge of particles to the sublimation of iodine.

Reviewer: Lauren Hutchings


Jun 20th, 2012

5 Star

Extremely usefull

Reviewer: Alastair Hilton


May 19th, 2011

5 Star

Reviewer: Matt McKee

inside easter eggs

Mar 30th, 2011

4 Star

Great activity with year 8 just before the Easter holidays. i have used this with different levels and they have all enjoyed it

Reviewer: judith trewick


Mar 17th, 2011

5 Star

So helpful . Students seethat reactions are useful

Reviewer: Janis Swallow


Nov 3rd, 2010

5 Star

these resources are well thought out and can easily be differentiatied for the class

Reviewer: Keith Robertson

Fake- Forensics activity

Apr 15th, 2010

3 Star

Very interesting (and in an applied way, as well), but too wordy for the BTEC groups that I was hoping to use it with. Perhaps there could be an alternative differentiated version for lower (literacy) ability students.

Reviewer: maria mourelatou


Jan 29th, 2010

4 Star

best my class loved it

Reviewer: alex gregory

Fake - Forensics activity from Wikid review

Nov 20th, 2009

5 Star

I was excellent my year 7 did very well on the task they loved the finger print exercise with iodine and they fully understand sublimation.

Reviewer: Patricia Brooks-Dickens


Apr 9th, 2009

5 Star

I think all the activities are really cooooooool for all students btu i think you should add more murder or kid napping activities

Reviewer: jessica child

Perfect pumpkins

Jan 9th, 2009

5 Star

I used this activity with Year 9 around Halloween. They enjoyed the clip from the film ET to set the scene as they came in and produced some excellent presentations.

Reviewer: Carol Chapman


Dec 29th, 2008

5 Star

Its a new way to inspire pupils. Really enjoyed teaching the topic.

Reviewer: fidelis mugova

Like no other way of teaching it ...

Nov 3rd, 2008

5 Star

I have really enjoyed teaching this unit. I was worried that perhaps the content would not be explicit for the students - how wrong i was! Not only did they recall the knowledge but where happy to transfer it to new situations.

Reviewer: Louisa Carter