Science of Curiosity

Forensic Firearms / Ballistics Activity - NO PREP

A fun Ballistics Activity for your students! Can they use their skills to solve the murder of Dillon Dollar? Your students will search for ballistics evidence at the crime scene and in the homes of three suspects. They will then take the role of a ballistics analyst to compare striation marks between the crime scene bullets and those shot from the suspects’ guns (ten bullets total!). Finally, they use gunshot residue evidence to determine the muzzle distance when Dillon was shot.

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Description

A fun Ballistics Activity for your students! Can they use their skills to solve the murder of Dillon Dollar? Your students will search for ballistics evidence at the crime scene and in the homes of three suspects. They will then take the role of a ballistics analyst to compare striation marks between the crime scene bullets and those shot from the suspects’ guns (ten bullets total!). Finally, they use gunshot residue evidence to determine the muzzle distance when Dillon was shot.

The Ballistics Activity Includes 34 interactive Google Slides!

Your students will:

  • Drag and drop items to search for evidence
  • Copy evidence from the crime scene and suspect slides, and paste it into the Evidence Lab slide.
  • Rotate and resize evidence to examine striation marks
  • Answer thinking questions as they go
  • Solve the case!

Full answer KEY included!

 

In order to be successful with the ballistics activity, your students need to know:

  • What types of guns make striations (rifles and handguns, but not shotguns)
  • How striations are made on a bullet
  • Why striations are unique to each gun
  • Be familiar with how compound microscopes work, allowing analysts to compare two bullets / casings at the same time
  • A general understanding of muzzle distance determination using gunshot residue patterns

 

All of these concepts are taught in THIS Google Slides ballistics resource, along with notes for students to complete, and a set of review questions!

Click to see a preview of the Ballistics Evidence Notes.

Five Stars!

Here are what some Happy Teachers have to say about this Ballistics Evidence Notes in our Teachers Pay Teachers store:

About as hands on as you can get with ballistics without having your own firing tank!             – Miss. W          October 7, 2023

This resource was so easy to use from a teacher and student standpoint. Students really liked the lesson and I plan to use this every year, thanks for the great resource!             – Brittany O.           March 21, 2023

Students loved working on this assignment. They worked in groups to complete and loved it.          – Jada B.         February 2, 2022

My students really enjoyed this activity.           – Sarah T.         January 27, 2022

Great resource for students who are not able to be in class.          – Kristen P.         January 26, 2022

More Ballistics Resources!

  • Teach your students Forensic Ballistics Evidence with this NO PREP resource. Students can complete their ballistics notes independently, or through class lecture – or both! 28 Slides, 5 pages of notes, and 10 question review.
  • Solve a Murder Case! A fun Ballistics Evidence Activity for your students! Can they use their skills to solve the murder of Dillian Dollar? Focuses on bullet striations evidence!
  • The Trayvon Martin / George Zimmerman Case Study walks students through the gunshot residue evidence presented by the forensic firearm expert and the pathologist at the Zimmerman trial.
  • Bullet Trajectory Learn and Do! Students learn how to analyze and measure bullet holes to determine the angle of trajectory. Resource includes Google Slides, guided notes, a digital activity and a hands on activity!
  • The JFK Cold Case video guide is no-prep, print and go! Perfect for a substitute. The video is an hour long and covers information about the gun, ammunition, trajectory, and autopsy evidence from the Kennedy assisination. Is the JFK assisination the work of a conspiracy? Ballistics experts test fire the gun to find out!
  • Ballistics Review game! No prep, fun and quirky game that doubles as a study guide!
  • BUNDLE and Save! Get the whole Unit and save 20%

 

The Ballistics Bundle has everything you need to teach Forensic Firearm Evidence! The bundle includes interactive Google Slides, guided notes, sets of review questions, digital activities, a hands-on activity, two case studies and an assessment. Many of the resources can be completed by students independently, no direct instruction required. All parts, except for the hands-on activity, are no-prep and ready to go!
BUNDLE and Save! Get all of the Ballistics resources as one full Unit!
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