Science Behind Ballistics and Firearms Lab Activity


In this lab, students will learn background information on different types of firearms, and how a ballistics expert might use that knowledge to assist in crime scene investigations. Students will then use a Vernier caliper, trajectory rods and ballistic blocks to assess the bullets that are provided in this kit. Students will obtain metric data, analyze bullet caliber, and use tools to analyze a “bullet hole”. These exercises will help students learn how to analyze damage to a bullet and connect it to a specific caliber firearm. While doing this activity students will employ framework science standards PS1, PS2, and PS3.

This kit has been aligned with all published National Standards. Pre- and Post-laboratory assessments and vocabulary words all target specific Science and Engineering Practices and common core standards. The teacher guide also contains specific “Did You Know” concepts that link the real world with the scientific standards explored. A student copymaster is also included. This kit includes enough materials for 8 student set-ups.
Materials Provided.
1 set of 4 embedded .45 caliber bullets
1 set of 4 embedded .45 caliber shell casings
1 bullet model
1 set/8 safety bullets
1 set/7 various caliber safety bullets
1 set of 4 ballistic blocks
4 trajectory rods
4 protractors
1 laser pointer
8 Vernier calipers
8 magnifying glasses
1 roll string
1 set, product literature: Student and Teacher Guide

Materials Required, Not Included:
Dissection microscope (optional)

Time Requirements:
Part I: 20 minutes
Part II: 30 minutes
Part III: 15 minutes
Part IV: 30 minutes
Part V: 30 minutes

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