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The Secret in the Cellar webcomic is a forensic science mystery based closely on the case of the Leavy Neck boy, a clandestine burial of a teen in the cellar of a 17th-century house from the tidewater area of the Chesapeake. The Webcomic is a set of instructional materials that discloses the power of forensics to reveal the...
The Secret in the Cellar webcomic is a forensic science mystery based closely on the case of the Leavy Neck boy, a clandestine burial of a teen in the cellar of a 17th-century house from the tidewater area of the Chesapeake. The Webcomic is a set of instructional materials that discloses the power of forensics to reveal the intimate details of an individual’s life, and the circumstantial evidence of their death, centuries later. The reading level and science activities are appropriate for grades 7 and higher. As scientists would do with real cases, users of the webcomic will examine evidence, form hypothesis, and make predictions. In story fashion, the Webcomic uncovers details from the life of a nameless teen caught in the conditions of servitude in colonial America. Through a careful study of the forensic evidence by the webcomic user, the colonial teen’s life, his physical health, the indelible marks of heavy and repetitive physical labor, and the physical trauma suffered around the time of death all work to bring face-to-face recognition of a 17th century boy.
By completing forensic and archaeological activities students treat evidence as scientists in those fields would, making observations, analyzing evidence, and testing hypotheses. Analysis of the cold case is framed by 17th century colonialism in the Chesapeake Bay area.