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Patterns of Murder™ Blood Spatter Analysis

Blood spatter found in a backwoods cabin may provide clues about the identity of the killer in a double homicide. Your students will aid the investigation by studying the spatter patterns to deduce crime scene events.

Your students must determine how the blood spatter found at the cabin scene was formed. To do this, students first learn about several techniques for blood spatter pattern analysis. Then, students will conduct an experiment designed to determine the relationship between the height and angle of impact of a blood drop, and the size and shape of the resulting spatter. Finally, students will apply what they've learned to the data from the cabin crime scene to determine what happened and who was responsible.

As in all Lyle and Louise modules, this kit is geared to high school and undergraduate courses, and is matched to National Science Education Standards. This kit is designed for 6 labs groups (up to 30 students).

Next Generation Science Standards

  • MS-PS2-1. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

Common Core Standards

  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.RP.A.1 Compute unit rates associated with ratios of fractions, including ratios of lengths, areas and other quantities measured in like or different units.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.RP.A.2 Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.EE.B.4 Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.A.1 Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale drawing at a different scale.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.G.B.5 Use facts about supplementary, complementary, vertical, and adjacent angles in a multi-step problem to write and solve simple equations for an unknown angle in a figure.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.EE.C.7 Solve linear equations in one variable.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.A.1 Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.F.B.4 Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.8.G.B.7 Apply the Pythagorean Theorem to determine unknown side lengths in right triangles in real-world and mathematical problems in two and three dimensions.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-Q.A.3 Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-BF.A.1 Write a function that describes a relationship between two quantities.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSF-LE.A.1b Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.HSG-SRT.C.8 Use trigonometric ratios and the Pythagorean Theorem to solve right triangles in applied problems.
Included Materials
  • Cardboard Blood Drop Angle Support (6)
  • 3-D Cardboard Cabin Model (6)
  • 11" x 17" paper (50)
  • Synthetic blood (6)
  • Pasteur pipettes with bulbs (6)
  • Crime scene blood spatter images (6 sets)
  • String (6 sets)
  • Push-pins (1 box)
  • Measuring tapes (6)
Required Materials
  • Lab gloves
  • Computer with MS Excel
Storage Conditions Cool and Dark (Ambient)
Stability Indefinite

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