Welcome to the Visible Proofs Education site. Explore several forensic topics through the online activities and lesson plans below.

Online Activities

Explore the following three online activities that will whet your appetite to learn more about various forensic developments, techniques, and careers!

  1. Medical Views presents two medical examiners' perspectives on their work, first-hand experience in medico-legal autopsies, and something called Virtopsy. Explore the world of a medical examiner and consider a forensic pathology career for yourself!
  2. Anthropological Views introduces forensic anthropologists and their work with human remains. Examine skeletal remains, a human rights case, and three anthropologists' perspectives on their work.
  3. Technological Views offers insights into the scientific and technological advances that have extended the capabilities of forensic analysis. Examine historical developments in forensic identification, crime scene recording, DNA analysis, radiology, and toxicology, all of which are integral part of the forensic investigations of our time.

Lesson Plans

Teachers—bring the world of forensics into your classrooms. These lesson plans for middle and high school students have been developed to promote active learning while exploring the stories of the people, technologies, and sciences that have contributed to the development and invention of diverse forensic techniques.

  1. Measurable You! (6–11 grades) introduces an anthropometric measurement system developed to identify and track people in the penal system in late 19th and early 20th century. Students conduct a guided experiment and discussions while collecting anthropometric measurements, exploring the impact of experimental errors in a scientific system, and explaining their observations/findings in writing.
  2. Entomology in Action (6–12 grades) introduces students to the blow fly's life cycle and a forensic entomologist's work in solving a murder case in 1986. Students access several primary-source documents to expand their understanding of how a forensic entomologist contributes to a forensic investigation.
  3. DNA—a Molecular Identity (10–12 grades) engages students in learning what DNA is and about different DNA profiling techniques. Students examine three real cases where DNA evidence was an essential component and evaluate the benefits and possible misuses of DNA information.

This site has been made possible by numerous contributors and reviewers. We greatly appreciate the time and work of these contributors. Thank you!

Lenore Barbian, Ph.D., National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC
Marcella F. Fierro, M.D., Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Richmond, Virginia
David Fowler, M.D., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, Maryland
Jeremy Haack, Kenwood High School, Baltimore, Maryland
Dorothy Harris, Quince Orchard High School, Gaithersburg, Maryland
William L. Krinsky, M.D., Ph.D., Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
J. Larson Lock, M.D., Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Baltimore, Maryland
Maria Christina Crassas Makrodimitri, Silver Spring, Maryland
Mary Monte, Eastern Technical High School, Essex, Maryland
Gloria Seelman, NIH Office of Science Education
J. Scott Sleek, Silver Spring, Maryland
Paul S. Sledzik, MS, National Transportation Safety Board, Washington, DC