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The Mystery of the Missing Michelangelo_edited.png

Someone has stolen a rare miniature model of the David in Florence. Forensic Science student investigators work to unravel the mystery and bring David home.


A non-murder mystery for the forensic science classroom.

Hands on. Laboratory analysis

Unit length: Approximately 4-6 weeks


In order to use this mystery activity in your science classroom, you should have familiarity with Forensic Science Analysis: photographing and cataloguing a crime scene (securing, recording and collecting evidence); ink chromatography; marble/stone powder analysis; fingerprints (on glass); isolation of DNA and DNA analysis using electrophoresis; handwriting analysis; shoe-print casting; hair samples; ABO blood typing.


This forensic unit works best if the testing skills listed above are taught to your students prior to the start of the mystery as then the students can determine which tests to run first (DNA testing last, however). This will lend more authenticity to the investigation. Students work in groups as “investigators,” competing to solve the crime.


A potential cross-curricular project.


Written by Nora Louise Syran.

Commissioned and Tested by Dr. Karen Singer and the middle-school students of the

International School of Nice, France.

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