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CSI: Web Adventures


Found in: science, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

CSI: Web Adventures is developed for general science and biology students in grades 5-12, especially those interested in forensic science. There are five adventures to navigate and solve: beginner; intermediate; and three advanced cases. Created under a (partial) partnership with CBS Broadcasting, Inc., students might appreciate the site's concept of using a cast of charcaters, in this case real life forensic scientists, not television actors.

In the beginner case, Case One: Rookie Training, newcomers explore five forensic areas (forensic biology, toxicology lab, firearms and tool marks, medical examiner, and CSI ethics) on their own or by following an expert. For example, in the forensic biology lab, an expert explains the importance of DNA in crime investigation, demonstrates how DNA evidence is collected at crime scenes and from suspects, quizzes a rookie along the way and provides skills practice, and finally tests each rookie before he or she is permitted to move onto the next area. Students can choose to take the exit test to test-out or as a pretest. The site requires a lot of reading, and student progress through each area will vary.

Once students begin to work on Case 2 or higher, they may need some extra help. Walkthroughs with hints are available under Game Features where they can learn more about each of the site experts and how to navigate the site, learn about other features, and save their progress. Technical specs and FAQs are listed for teachers and technology staff.

The For Educators tab provides educator and family guides, more online activities to test observation skills.  There are also links to more information on forensic science and criminalists - aptly named Cool Links.

Visitors can register or play as a guest. Registration allows users to save incomplete cases. The website is in English, Spanish, and German and requires Flash.

The Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning at Rice University is looking for high school anatomy and physiology teachers to take part in field tests. More information is available on the homepage.

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