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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 13 Issue 4 (2008) pp 117-119

The Cake Caper: A Forensics Hands on Experience and Experiment for Grades 4 through 12

Paula W. McDonald, Joseph Sneddon*, and Ron W. Darbeau

Department of Chemistry, McNeese State University,Lake Charles,Louisiana 70609,
Received February 25, 2007. Accepted October 10, 2007.

Published online: 25 February 2008

Abstract. This paper describes a forensics hands-on experiment and experience for potential use for 4–12 grades. The experience is who cut up the winning cake in a cake competition. The experiment involves a student following a series of clues derived from blood, soil, inks, white-powder substance, cake knife, and fingerprints and determining which of four potential suspects was the culprit. Results and discussion of our experience and observations when the experiment visited local schools over a two-year period are presented.

Key Words: Of Special Interest; forensics, crime-solving, hands-on experience, 4-12 grades, outreach

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (33 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Information for teacher’s wanting to adopt his experiment and the student workbook are included in the supporting material (500 KB).

Issue date: April 1, 2008

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