Roxane Ohl - Feb 24, 2020

Using Forensics to Teach Inquiry-Based Learning

I don’t know if everyone is like this, but I find I am happiest when I am hyper-focused on figuring something out. A lot of us call it being "in the zone".

It has been my experience that students get a similar sense of intrigue and accomplishment by figuring things out for themselves. They are empowered by inquiry-based learning. But open inquiry in the science lab can be pretty intimidating. If students are not used to inquiry-based learning, things can get pretty crazy pretty fast.

Forensics makes an excellent platform for teaching inquiry because the evidence and clues help to guide students in the right direction. In the forensics lab, the ‘answer’ is there, and the challenge is to figure out how to explain the clues. A forensics approach allows us to take baby steps in training students to inquiry-based learning. I have heard a lot of teachers describe how they successfully build lessons into activities using storylines to grab the attention of students. Forensics based activities offer an intriguing manifestation of this concept.

The challenge?

Make a dreaded lesson more engaging to students by giving the task a forensics twist. Just a clue or two will direct student inquiry, making the challenge more manageable.  

Try it!

Take a simple lesson and build a forensics storyline so students cannot resist finding the solution to the problem. Now, share your experience with all of us. We would love to hear from you!

We have forensic Kemtec Kits for every grade level. Start browsing, we're sure to have something that intrigues you!


Written by Roxane Ohl