CSI Joe: Behind the Scenes

What does it take to create a mystery? You could ask a mystery writer, but I think I have a glimpse….

As our last group project for AP Bio, and in order to allow us to gain a better understanding of how the systems in the body work, we divided into three teams to create a mystery for the other groups to solve. Each of our groups was assigned a system, and we got started. Piecing together clues, thinking through what information we had to convey without getting to the answer, we built a storyline. Centered around a town, we built a 3D map: Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 7.58.22 PM

Each lab table in the back of the biology room was assigned a location on the map, and materials were placed on these depending on what they pertained to. We even made a blueprint of the crime scene to show our assistant detectives.

Because we needed to create a mystery that took at least 40 minutes to solve, creating the mystery was a thought intensive process. We began it by brainstorming after we had been assigned our body system, plotting out not only what really happened to the pig, but also all the twists and turns along the way. One of the things I love the most about brainstorming is that you can throw around ideas, no matter how ambitious or how unformed they may be, because there is no right answer. We got there through a lot of team work.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 8.28.10 PM


No, we didn’t hammer out a script that first day, even though we’d wanted to. But what we accomplished was beginning a dialogue that carried us through the next two weeks. Holding each other together, and working as a team (with lots of group phone calls) we hammered out a plot line. We figured out what documentation we needed, what characters. We wrote scripts for each of the character’s parts, we each took on a role and a responsibility. We appointed a lead detective to help guide the group through the clues, and we used Powtoon to create an engaging intro video. We spun our knowledge of body systems into autopsy reports, follow-up test results, and a presentation on our body system, guiding the class through a review of all we had learned through the dissection.

With one more test left to go on body systems, we contributed to the learning of the team. We successfully converted skills and knowledge we had learned through out the year into this final effort, from our tech skills, our time management, to our knowledge of biology, we pulled it off.

Screen Shot 2014-05-20 at 8.25.22 PM

I really enjoyed this project. I got a chance to Explore how to create a script, Dream about how to kill off a fake pig, and Examine possibilities for how to approach a problem.

Thanks for reading


Works Cited

Red Telephone. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica ImageQuest. Web. 20 May 2014. http://quest.eb.com/images/118_828956


One thought on “CSI Joe

  1. It was such a creative presentation! I was so impressed by how your group used technology to be successful. You found a way to all connect and communicate despite being in different places physically. I know this added a big challenge for your group, but you persevered and created an amazing learning experience for the class. Go Team!

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