GENIE DNA Detective

 This is a CSI-like crime scene scenario where students actually get to solve a crime by looking at DNA profiles and police reports  from a fictional crime scene and applying logic.  It is one of our most popular activities! 

Mock crime scene - full view

When the crime scene is set out, it takes us a lot of effort to keep the students away until it is their turn to have a go!

What the students do is to link evidence of DNA found at the crime scene (in the form of real DNA profiles) with the evidence of the police reports and work out who has committed the crime.  We get students working together in groups of 3 or 4 and this can then take up to 30 minutes for them to work it out.

This activity works well for children from age 11 right up to adults.  This session fits in with Key Stages 3 and 4 of the National Curriculum for England (ages 11-14 and 14-16), as well as for A level biology (England 16-18).

What this activity will demonstrate is:

  • That DNA is present in many different substances left at crime scenes (such as blood, hair, sweat).
  • That every individual has a different DNA profile which is based on markers in their DNA.
  • That DNA profiles from crime scenes can be used as evidence.


Activity Information
Author: GENIE
Subject: Genetics
Level: Ages 11 and above
Language: English
Publish Date: 9th March 2012


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1 Teacher Notes
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2 Crime Scene Report
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3 DNA Profiles

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Mock crime scene - bottles of chemicals

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