Using Paper Chromatography

This Using Paper Chromatography lesson plan also includes:

Through the analysis of paper chromatography to separate ink from the pen found at the crime scene, learners analyze the different stains and through calculations determine the thief. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Great lab for chemistry or forensic science classes
Classroom Considerations
  • Takes 30-45 minutes for all of the dyes to separate, so set up quickly or complete the lab over two days
  • May need to model one calculation for classes and then allow pupils to complete
  • May be appropriate for some middle school classes based on their abilities
  • Provides lots of information for teachers, from where to purchase chromatography paper to which pens work best
  • Engaging lab for all participants due to the set up of a crime scene
  • Provides all worksheets, keys, and information needed to complete the activity
  • None
Common Core