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K-12 Evaluated Resource Collection

Lab Analysis

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Author/Publisher/Website: Bodden, V.
Copyright: 2018
Evaluation/Record Entry Date: May/2019
Submitting suppliers/Website: Not Available
Primary Identifier: 9781628324716
Recommended Grades and Subjects/Courses: 7-10
(View recommended grades and subjects)

Resource Description

This resource provides basic information about forensic science, shows how scientific analysis is used by forensic scientists, and notes how portrayals of forensic science in literature, film, and television have raised the public’s expectation of scientific evidence. Aimed at young adults, the writing is clear and straightforward, topics are presented in an organized manner, and text features, photographs, glossary, and links to external websites support student understanding. Useful to explore careers in forensic science, to connect lab experiences with those of forensic scientists, to consider ethical and legal implications of forensic analysis, and to launch research projects.

CURRICULUM FIT

Does the resource support BC curriculum?
Moderately
This product supports the Core Competencies of the BC curriculum:
Critical thinking
Comments:
Simple descriptions of laboratory techniques connect scientific procedures to the real-world application of forensic science. The resource may help students understand how Curricular Competencies in Science are important aspects of what working scientists do on a daily basis. The text could be used to complement chemistry portions of the Science 7-10 curricula. For Career Education, the book provides a realistic look into the kind of work done by forensic scientists.

SOCIAL CONSIDERATIONS

Safety:
Because the book is about forensic science, criminal uses of legal and illegal substances (poisons, alcohol, prescription and illegal drugs) are addressed. One passage discussing poisons includes self-inflicted poisonings (suicide) and murder by poisoning. Topics also include arson and explosives.
Do the social considerations support, rather than detract from, student learning?
Extensively
Social Considerations Comments:
The examples of criminality and potentially harmful substances included describe how substances and crimes can be uncovered by forensic techniques. These descriptions help capture the reader's interest and illustrate how scientific analysis is employed by forensic scientists.

GENERAL CONTENT

Content
Is the resource engaging?
Moderately
Is the content current for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content accurate for the intended curriculum and grade?
Extensively
Is the content timely and important for student broad understandings?
Extensively
Audience:
Is the content appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Does the resource provide opportunities for creative and critical thinking?
Moderately
Is the level of detail appropriate?
Moderately
Is the content of particular interest to male students?
Moderately
Is the content of particular interest to female students?
Moderately
Is the language use appropriate to the emotional maturity and cognitive level of students?
Extensively
Comments:
The writing is clear and straightforward, and the topics are presented in an organized manner. The level of scientific detail is basic. While print does not allow for adjustment of reading level, text features support struggling readers. Main idea "takeaway" boxes are found throughout the book, and scientific terms found in the glossary are bolded in the main text. A small bibliography provides interested students with suggestions for further research.

TECHNICAL DESIGN

Does the resource make effective use of the medium?
Extensively
Is the location of illustrations appropriate?
Extensively
Is the resource easy to use?
Extensively
Is the use of font, text size and presentation uniform?
Moderately
Are extraneous elements/illustrations kept to a minimum?
Extensively
Comments:
A selection of different typefaces and fonts is used consistently through the book to denote the differences between body copy, glossary terms, captions, "takeaway" ideas, chapter beginnings, and sidebar text. Images throughout the 80 pages complement the main text and the sidebars. An index helps readers to quickly find topics within the text.

INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN

Are the concepts clearly explained?
Extensively
Comments:
While not designed as a textbook, this resource is written for young adult learners, and provides text features and a clear writing style that supports reader understanding. Readers of varied proficiency can make use of text features and external websites suggested in the Selected Bibliography and Websites sections at the end of the book.

PRINT CLASSROOM

Does the reference cover topics with sufficient depth for the intended audience?
Moderately
Does the classroom reference have a bibliography and footnotes?
Moderately
Are the subject area list and/or subtopics extensive?
Moderately
Do the external links contribute to the learning experience
Moderately
Does the resource broaden students’ experiences and understandings?
Moderately
Does the resource make effective use of visual elements?
Moderately
Are the images compelling?
Moderately
Descriptors:
Student research tools
Comments:
The resource broadly covers basic information about forensic science and includes specific examples of cases in which forensic science has been utilized. The resource also discusses fictional portrayals of forensic science in literature and on the screen, and how such fictional portrayals have changed the public's expectations for scientific evidence in court cases. A bibliography and glossary are included. Photographic images support the text elements.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS

Readability:
At intended grade level(s)

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM USAGE

Comments:
This book may be used to assist students with research into a career in forensic science or as a text to help connect classroom laboratory experiences with those of forensic scientists. Teachers may guide students to consider some of the ethical considerations related to the quality of forensic analysis and its use in legal proceedings. Lab techniques introduced in the book can create starting points for further research. Key words learned through the text can be used in research projects.
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