Helen Owens reviews this SEP resource

Forensic chemistry
Sam Holyman
London: Gatsby SEP 2010 | Pp52 | £6.00 | ISBN 978 190 716 801 7
Reviewed by Helen Owens

Forensic chemistry cover

The purpose of SEP resources is to support effective learning in science, and explore ways in which novel and cheap resources can be used in secondary science to deliver the GCSE Science curriculum. The theme of this book is how forensic chemistry experiments can be carried out in the classroom and how they relate to the GCSE specification for a number of examining boards. 

The book is well structured and begins by explaining what forensic science is and the range of techniques that chemists can use on evidence collected at crime scenes. Blood and forensics is also covered, including how samples of blood can be identified and testing for alcohol in peoples' blood by constructing a simple breathalyser. 

For each of the activities, learning objectives, notes of caution and detailed resources required are provided and a short teachers' note outlines the key ideas and where specialised resources can be obtained.

Detailed worksheets for students are included, along with the resources needed and suggested blank results tables, which can be reproduced for teaching purposes providing they are copied with an acknowledgement. Additional resources can also be downloaded from the SEP website.

Most of the experiments covered can be carried out in a school laboratory with relative ease. However, some of the chemical equipment may not be available in all secondary schools.