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Student Introduction


Rogue Rodent Mystery Resources



The Rogue Rodent Mystery


Mrs. Hawkins is the science specialist at Cavia Elementary school. Her classroom is filled with all sorts of neat things like rainbow-producing prisms, a human skeleton model, microscopes, and an insect collection. Her classroom also has a pet guinea pig named Alice.

Alice is a very special part of the class. Mrs. Hawkins loves animals and knows that the best way for her students to learn about what an animal needs to survive is by observing, or watching, the animal up close. The entire class helps take care of the guinea pig — feeding her, giving her fresh water, cleaning her enclosure, providing things for Alice to chew on, and taking her home to care for her on the weekends. Alice is such a gentle and curious creature, and the students at Cavia Elementary take their responsibilities very seriously.

Yesterday, Mrs. Hawkins said goodbye to her students as they headed home. She put Alice safely back in her enclosure and then went to the cafeteria to grab an afternoon snack. When she came back 20 minutes later she noticed:

• The front door ajar • The skeleton in the middle of the classroom had been knocked over • The window on the side of the classroom was open • The outlines of a few muddy shoeprints were all around • Orange paint scattered around the classroom and on Alice’s enclosure • The classroom smelled like lemon juice • Alice was gone!

Mrs. Hawkins is desperate to get Alice back safely. The whole school is worried and heartbroken that they will never see their beloved guinea pig again.

Mrs. Hawkins has written to me asking if our class can help bring Alice home! Since we do not know anyone in the class, Mrs. Hawkins believes we will be able to keep an open mind about who the thief might be. We must observe the crime scene and make a list of suspects. We must ask questions and try to figure out the answers. Making observations and running tests to answer questions is science. Doing science experiments in order to solve a mystery is called forensic science. Are you ready to be a forensic scientist? Mrs. Hawkins and the kids at Cavia Elementary school are counting on you!