Program Information/Description

Science on Patrol (SOP) is designed to promote interest and achievement in science by providing young adolescents compelling problems (“crimes”) they can solve by applying the scientific processes and skills actually used by crime scene investigators when they solve crimes. This approach capitalizes on the interest in high profile crimes in the popular press, movies, and current television programs. The informal science project is aimed squarely at raising the level of participation and achievement in science.

Collaboratively working together a PAL instructor, Police Detectives, and a scientist and/or science teacher will work to:

  1. Develop a field test and create a minimum of five (5) crime scenarios for the children to solve.
  2. Develop course materials such as a facilitator’s guide and student activities kit that will include case folders for each crime.
  3. Increase enrollment capacity to apply scientific knowledge and processes to solve real world problems.
  4. To increase understanding of law enforcement when convictions are made using science technology.


Students enrolled in the program will participate in a variety of activities that will include some of the following:

  • Create an investigative plan
  • Use crime scene reporting techniques
  • Take pictures of crime scenes
  • Different types of fingerprints and types of fingerprint collections
  • Compare/cross examine copies of fingerprint sheets
  • Look for case evidence – DNA markers of suspects, prints left by various sneakers, fingerprints and blood samples of suspects
  • DNA markers from hair samples
  • Collect and discuss evidence
  • Groups will discuss evidence presentation that has been collected
  • Proposed field trips: Forensic Lab in Hamilton (State of NJ Crime Lab), Local Police Department
  • Science Activities: Students will enhance their observation skills, develop understanding of biology through the study of skin, fingerprints, DNA, and aspects of chemistry through fiber analysis.
  • Integrate Learning: Students will use reading, writing, speaking, math skills, and science to “solve crimes” and present their evidence based on findings.

Science on Patrol will be available to students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. All participants and their parent/guardian will be required to sign a Memorandum of Understanding that explains the need to attend all classes, behave properly in class, and complete all necessary work in the class and at home.

Program dates, times and fees to be announced.

We reserve the right to cancel, with a credit for any program that does not receive
the minimum numbers of participations.