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Forensics

Division: C – High School

NC Essential Standards Alignment: Chm.3.1, Chm.3.2, Science as Inquiry

Event Rules: See National Rules

Event Score Sheet: None

National Event Page: Here

Required Materials: Participants must wear goggles, an apron or a lab coat and have skin covered from the neck down to the wrist and toes. Gloves are optional, but if a host requires a specific type, they must notify teams. Pants should be loose fitting; if the host has more specific guidelines they will notify teams in advance of the tournament. Long hair, shoulder length or longer, must be tied back. Participants who unsafely remove their safety clothing/goggles or are observed handling any of the material or equipment in an unsafe manner will be penalized or disqualified from the event.

Clarifications: NC Only: 3. NC regionals will only be focusing on parts:

3.c (Qualitative Analysis of solids)

3.d i. (Polymers only),

3.f.i Fingerprint Analysis and *Added 12/19/19

3.f vi. (tracks and soil).

Other topics listed in the rules will not be addressed at regionals, but MAY be covered at the state tournament. Additional questions may be asked on general lab safety and procedure and chemical and physical properties and common uses of the substances in part 3.c.

For the Chemistry events, it states that teams may bring any or all of the items listed – are teams only permitted to have the checked items in their kits?  Or, may they have all items on the list even if they are not checked.

 
Teams may bring anything on the list whether it is checked or not.  The list is to help teams pare down the list a bit.
 
The chemistry events now say the reference sheets MAY be sealed in a sheet protector or laminated. Do they have to be?
No, The difference between MAY and MUST is a big one in Olympiad.  Since this set of rules says “MAY be in a sheet protector”  – it means that it doesn’t have to be, but it is allowed if you want to use one.
 
The rules say one notesheet per person – is this right?
Yes, all the chemistry events have shifted to this rule this year.
 
updated 11/13/2019

 

Description:

This is a Lab based event. Teams will be given a crime scenario which they will be asked to solve based on evidence they gather and test.  Teams will then be asked to analyze the information they have gathered to identify a suspect and solve the crime.

Materials:

Each team may bring any or all of the items listed as Recommended Lab Equipment for Division C Chemistry Events, posted on soinc.org, to use during this event and two calculators of any type. Participants not bringing these items will be at a disadvantage. The supervisor will not provide them. Each participant may bring one 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper that may contain information on both sides in any form and from any source. Participants must wear goggles, an apron or a lab coat and have skin covered from the neck down to the wrist and toes. Gloves are optional, but if a host requires a specific type, they must notify teams. Long hair, shoulder length or longer, must be tied back. Participants who unsafely remove their safety clothing/goggles or are observed handling any of the material or equipment in an unsafe manner will be penalized or disqualified from the event.

***SAFETY ISSUE*** In addition to OSHA approved chemical splash goggles with indirect ventsteams also MUST wear closed toed shoes, pants/skirts that cover legs to the ankleAND a lab coat/apron that reaches below the knee or they will not be allowed to participate. Long hair must be tied back. In addition, any teams seen handling materials in an unsafe manner will be disqualified from the event. 

Event Leaders will provide a proper lab environment, all evidence to be collected, additional equipment necessary to perform tests on the evidence, the official test and answer sheet.

Scoring:

High score wins. Points are earned for proper identification of evidence as well as analysis of the crime.

Common Mistakes:

None

Recommendations:

Be sure to follow all safety requirements! Students will not be allowed to participate without the proper safety equipment.

– Event leaders will not answer questions on testing procedures (for example- how to perform a burn test on fibers) nor will they provide a copy of the rules or a list of the possible unknowns. Teams should already know procedure, and should include a list of the possible unknowns in their allowed notes if they cannot remember. Event leaders WILL answer safety questions, and stop students from performing a test in an unsafe manner.

Event Resources:

Forensics 2018 Coaches Clinic Presentation (2019 Rules)

Powder Analysis blank chart
Sample Forensics Flowchart
2017 Coaches Clinic Presentation

General sites on Forensics and Crime Busters
Forensic checklist of links, activities, and notes
http://php.indiana.edu/~lwoz/socrime/index.htm
Real World—Articles on aspects of crime scene data collection
Links to forensic activities for students

Polymers and Fibers:
American Chemistry—Teaching Plastics
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

Chromatography:
Intro to Chromatography
How to calculate the Rf value for a chromatogram
Tutorial on Interpreting Mass Spectra
Basic info Mass spectroscopy

Blood Information:
Blood Spatter info
Electropherogram info

Shoe and Tire Prints
Lab activity on shoe and tire prints

Sample Events:

2014 State Forensics Test – powders, tool marks/impressions, firearms/ballistics
2010 Regional Forensics Test- Stolen Steelers
2010 Crimebusters Regional Test
2013 Crimebusters State Test
2014 Crimebusters State Test

Media:

How to do a Fiber Burn Test
How to identify polymers
How to perform Powder tests
More Powder tests
Chromatography
Teamwork is the key to this event!