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Mrs. N. from Kissimmee FL is requesting Computers & Tablets through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Student-led project

The Case That's Really Buggin Me

We need Lenovo N 22 laptops and The Mystery of Lyle and Louise: Forensic Entomology Kit to be able to do research and solve the criminal case.

  • $1,198 goal

This project expired on July 28, 2018.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

About My Students

I teach middle grades STEM in a low socioeconomic area where most come from poverty, single parent homes. About 70% qualify for free/reduced lunch. Our school is a wonderful mix of White, African American & Hispanic students, My school's idea is that teaching STEM provides an educational environment that allows each of our students to achieve to his or her highest potential.

My Forensic students take the study of STEM beyond the classroom they want to learn more about forensic entomology. This is the study of how insects and other Arthropods can be utilized to determine how and when a crime was committed. In our Forensic unit, my students use problem-solving strategies through dynamic, hands-on experiences to understand how Crimean cases are solved.

My students love CSI. They want to become Forensic Technicians just like on TV. Of course, there is "the CSI effect", where forensic science is glamorized by an unreal television series. They want to learn how insects can tell the story of the time of death in order to solve the crime and find a suspect. Forensics requires them to work collaboratively with other team members. They will need to do practical research, communicating fluently both in writing and in the speech in order to solve the case. Solving a real-life problem they will gain self-confidence, be thoughtful and need to use an inquiring mind.

In Their Own Words

The goal we are trying to accomplish is to learn how forensic entomologists use maggots to determine post-mortem interval (PMI) to solve a crime. Using the crime scene kit-we are going to examine life-stage exemplars of 2 fly species, as a group, we will develop a personal key for distinguishing between life stage and species. Using the personal key, we will identify insects collected from the corpses and records that information for use by the entire class. Finally, by comparing the identification data to a life-stage/species-development chart and using National Weather Service data, to help us to determine the

post-mortem interval for both decedents.

In this project to find the suspect and solve the crime, each participant will need to take a role to achieve a common goal. Team members within each group will be selected because they have particular skills that are required to complete project tasks.

Each team has a facilitator, reporter, material handler and a timekeeper/presenter. We find the benefits of teamwork include increased efficiency, the ability to focus different minds on the same problem and provide mutual support.

We are going to need to do research to understand how the bugs will actually be able to help us determine the time of death. The skills learned in solving the case are easily transferred to other learning. The practical experiences will be showcased at our annual STEAM night, where the school showcases the different activities we have learned in class. This year we are thinking of creating a forensic breakout (escape room) challenge for parents and students to solve a crime to open the breakout box.

Mrs. N.
Grades 6-8
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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11 donors11 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 130 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Lenovo N22 - 11.6' - Celeron N3060 - 4 GB RAM - 32 GB SSD • Best Buy Education $181.72 4 $726.88
The Mystery of Lyle and Louise: Forensic Entomology Kit • Carolina Biological Supply Company $224.10 1 $224.10

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


10 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


match offer


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Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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