• 9 Weeks of Organized Lessons

    Imagine that instead of scouring the web for labs and projects, you had a complete nine-week experience that focused on middle school NGSS performance expectations.

  • Integrated Storyline

    The unifying theme of forensics is carried throughout the project and gives students the opportunity to integrate their learning with real-world experiences.

  • Three-dimensional Learning

    Activities feature specific cross-cutting concepts and science & engineering practices which support the disciplinary core ideas (DCI).

CAUGHT - an NGSS Unit on Forensics


Welcome to CAUGHT. This is an NGSS unit that integrates a storyline and projects with existing Kesler Science inquiry labs, station labs, and 5E Lessons. In this unit, students will be sent through a fictitious Forensics Academy to learn chemistry principles and evidence-gathering skills they need to solve a non-violent crime.

Included in this unit:

- unit overview
- day-by-day teacher instructions
- six station labs
- eight inquiry labs
- 5E PowerPoint explanations with INB templates
- two unit projects
- video training for teachers and video introduction for students
- student activity pages
- project-based and traditional assessments
- rubrics for feedback and standards-based grading
- journaling/synthesis activities

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CAUGHT - an NGSS Unit on Forensics

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Getting Started and Teacher Directions
    • Getting Started Video - Teacher Directions Introduction (online or download)
    • Getting Started Video - Weekly Lesson Overview (online or download)
    • CAUGHT - Teacher Directions (PPT and PDF)
  • 2
    Week 1
    • CAUGHT - Week One Presentation and Handouts
    • CAUGHT Introduction Video (view online)
    • CAUGHT Introduction video (download only)
    • Nervous System Station Lab
    • Explanation - Nervous System PPT
    • Explanation - INB Templates
    • Nervous System Inquiry Lab
  • 3
    Week 2
    • CAUGHT - Week Two Presentation and Handouts
    • Atoms Station Lab
    • Explanation - Atoms PPT
    • Explanation - INB Templates
    • Evidence Project
  • 4
    Week 3
    • CAUGHT - Week Three Presentation and Handouts
    • Molecules Station Lab
    • Explanation - Molecules PPT
  • 5
    Week 4
    • CAUGHT - Week Four Presentation and Handouts
    • Molecules Inquiry Lab
    • Elements Compounds Mixtures Station Lab
    • Explanation - Elements and Compounds PPT
    • Explanation - INB Templates
  • 6
    Week 5
    • CAUGHT - Week Five Presentation and Handouts
    • Balancing Chemical Equations Station Lab
    • Balancing Chemical Equations Inquiry Lab
    • Explanation - Balancing Chemical Equations PPT
    • Explanation - INB Templates
  • 7
    Week 6
    • CAUGHT - Week Six Presentation and Handouts
    • Physical and Chemical Changes Station Lab
    • Law of Conservation of Mass Inquiry Lab
    • Explanation - Chemical Changes PPT
    • Explanation - INB Templates
  • 8
    Week 7
    • CAUGHT - Week Seven Presentation and Handouts
    • Chemical and Physical Changes Inquiry Lab
    • Chemical Reactions - Forensic Edition Inquiry Lab
  • 9
    Week 8
    • CAUGHT - Week Eight Presentation and Handouts
    • Chemical Reactions and Mass Inquiry Lab
    • Calorimetry Inquiry Lab
  • 10
    Week 9
    • CAUGHT - Week Nine Presentation and Handouts
    • Crime Scene Project
    • Wrap/Assess

Standards and Performance Expectations

These standards are also supported by cross-cutting concepts and science and engineering practices.

  • MS-PS1-1 - Develop models to describe the atomic composition of simple molecules and extended structures.

  • MS-PS1-2 - Analyze and interpret data on the properties of substances before and after the substances interact to determine if a chemical reaction has occurred.

  • MS-PS1-5 - Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.

  • MS-PS3-4 - Plan an investigation to determine the relationships among the energy transferred, the type of matter, the mass, and the change in the average kinetic energy of the particles as measured by the temperature of the sample.

  • MS-LS1-8 - Gather and synthesize information that sensory receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain for immediate behavior or storage as memories. 

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