• forensic science;
  • footprint analysis;
  • gait analysis;
  • body proportions;
  • education


Analysis of footwear characteristics, impressions, and track ways can provide important evidence in a crime scene investigation. In this article, we present examples of how students can be involved in hands-on laboratory-based activities as a means of introducing the forensic sciences. The teaching methodology employs active learning strategies that allow students to discover scientific principles for themselves, develop techniques of critical thinking and problem solving, and gain appreciation for how knowledge arises. By including forensic sciences in the science curriculum, students develop an appreciation for the interrelatedness of all the sciences. From this series of activities, i.e., examining analyses of footprint and footwear impressions, students working as teams will gather information, analyze data, and draw conclusions. Moreover, students will be able to assess the significance of the quality and variability in the data collection process as well as learn the value of controls and experimental design through comparison of results with other groups. Anat Rec (Part B: New Anat) 279B:9–15, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.