Lower School CSI Project

Monday, April 24, 2017

In April, Grades 4 and 5 students participated in CSI: Adelson Beach this week working to solve a made-up mystery using science!  On Monday, fifth-grade students prepared a crime scene on a patio of a 2-bedroom, 1-bath beach house for our fourth-grade students to investigate. After observing and drawing the crime scene our fifth graders shared the back story and provided a list of suspects and their statements for their younger schoolmates to consider.  On Wednesday, Grade 4 entered the forensic lab to put their evidence to the test! Fifth graders led fourth graders through TEN labs, and guided them through the investigative process. Our eager scientists observed fingerprints closely, smelled and compared colognes, burned threads, tested water, melted ice, and cola’s pH levels, determined the origin of a stain using chromatography, lifted trace amounts of debris from suspect’s sweatshirts, used iodine as an indicator of starch, and compared handwriting, DNA, footprints samples. Even after this rigorous study, fourth graders were anxious to meet with their forensic teams and discuss and debate the solution to this complicated mystery. We are so appreciative of students, parents, teachers, and administrators who have helped make this scientific adventure a success!

Monday, April 3 Session 1: Crime Science, Background Story, Introduction of Suspects, Clue Board, and CSI Vocabulary (Grade 5 Student Teachers will assist)

Students will walk through the roped-off crime scene in the Lower School Gym, draw a picture of their assigned section, examine one item closely, and record their initial observations and inferences.

Students will read through the “CSI: Adelson Beach Story” of Felix and his friends, then they will be given the “Felix Mystery Clue Board” and suspect statements.

Students will be introduced to CSI vocabulary that will be helpful throughout the CSI activity.

Wednesday, April 5 Session 2: Forensic Labs 1-10 (Grade 5 Student Teachers will assist)

Students will complete the forensic labs 1-10 in the Science Lab and Discovery Lab and record their results on their “Data Sheet”.  They may also reference the “Behind the Scenes” packet, which explains forensic science and forensic scientists in great detail and contains “Station by Station Background” information for all the labs.

After completing the labs, students are directed to continue adding to their “Felix Mystery Clue Board”. They will also be given the “Felix Crime Scene Set-Up” and a “CSI: Lab Evidence” chart of what they learned from the evidence.


Monday, April 24 Session 3: Solving the Mystery

Students will discuss the lab results, suspect information, and begin debating who they believe may have been responsible for the crime. Students will make an attempt to solve the crime. They will finish recording their thoughts on their “Who Done It” paper.

Wednesday, April 26 Session 4 Solving the Mystery

Students will write up their investigation report and the class will vote on various solutions to the mystery. Students are encouraged to complete CSI Edison Challenges listed on the “CSI: Adelson Beach Edison Challenge Activities” handout.


On April 24, Jacob Coneh’s mother, Kristina, and her associate Dayvid Figler came to Adelson’s Lower School Science Lab to speak to both Grade 4 classes regarding our criminal justice system. They were a welcome team in helping us better understand how forensic evidence is used in court and emphasized how important science is in solving crimes. Both guests are criminal defense attorneys here in Las Vegas. Students were very interested as they have been using science to solve a made-up mystery about a missing millionaire. Throughout Ms. Coneh and Mr. Figler’s presentation students asked thoughtful questions. We appreciate Adelson parents taking time to share their talents and skills with us as we study various ways science is used in our world today!