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Super Sleuths

Division: A- Elementary

NC Essential Standards Alignment: Science as Inquiry

Event Rules: Super Sleuths Rules 2023 – Coming Soon

Event Score Sheet: None

Clarifications: For 2022 – We are working to figure out the logistics to make this a hands-on event so that students will be able to test powders at their schools.  Stay tuned for more info on this! 


Given a mystery scenario, evidence, and a list of possible suspects, teams will be expected to perform a series of tests to draw specific conclusions about the scenario and suspects. The test results along with other evidence will be used to solve the mystery of the scenario.


Teams must bring something to write with and safety goggles.

Teams may also bring a tool kit with the following items:
1. Spot plates, paper cups, or any containers in which teams can perform the tests

2. Droppers, popsicle sticks, spatulas, plastic spoons, tongs, and/or forceps for handling materials

3. pH test strips or paper

4. A ruler

5. A wash bottle or dropper bottle of distilled water

6. Hand lenses or loupes

7. Paper towels

8. A disposable cup for solid waste

9.  An 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper with any kind of notes written on both sides

The event supervisor will inspect kits and set aside any non-allowed items.


High Score wins. Points will be assigned as follows: Chemical evidence 50%, physical evidence 30%, analysis of the crime 20%. Ties will be broken based on best score in the chemical evidence section.

Common Mistakes:

The biggest problem elementary teams have is time management. Be prepared to divide and conquer parts of the test, or you may not get done.



Fast Facts:


Event Resources:

Super Sleuths 2019 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2020 Rules)
Super Sleuths 2018 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2019 Rules)
2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation
Powder Identification Blank Chart

General Sites on Forensics – tracks & footprints

Forensic Checklist of Links, Activities, and Notes
Links to forensic activities for students

Polymers and Fibers: 
Microscopic Images of Fibers—search for the types of fibers and select the kind of microscopic technique for the image you want.
Animal Hair Images

Intro to Chromatography