Ashes to Ashes – bESTology Week 10

Published by rrfenton on

Ashes to Ashes – bESTology Week 10


Do you like to solve mysteries? Do you love science? If yes, then you may have the burning desire for a career in fire forensics!

Once the first responders leave the scene, the investigators arrive to study the aftermath using skills, technology, knowledge and science. Using a systemic approach and paying attention to details, a mystery (fire/arson) can often be easily solved.

Fire investigation embodies the scientific method as well as the engineering design process. Some of the most prominent fire investigators are scientists and engineers who are blazing with curiosity to determine “what happened”.

This week, let’s catch fire for forensics!


A Firestorm of Brainstorming

Applying your skills and knowledge, brainstorm five (5) or more ways of how each the following plays a role(s) in fire forensics and the scientific method:

  • Critical thinking
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Listening
  • Systems analysis
  • Mathematics
  • Equipment evaluation
  • Judgment and decision making
  • Technology
  • Management of resources

Rank the importance of each element above and determine how each is woven into engineering design process as well.

Fire and Rescue Journal

911! Write a fictional story of how you arrived at the scene of a fire and solved the “mystery”. Include whether the fire was an accident or arson and defend your conclusion. Give examples of how each step of the scientific process was used to prove your hypothesis.

(Hint: Refer to your local news or history archives to assist with your storyline)

Share your story with others and discuss whether they agree with your conclusion. Ask others to share their fire stories (real and imaginative) with you as well.

BEST Connection

Service to others! Ask your local BEST hub director to share the list of participating teams in your community. Contact two (2) teams and ask them to share three (3) items their team struggles with during the competition season, i.e., wheels falling off of robot, motor output, timing-out issues, etc. Use the scientific method to problem-solve their issues.

Commemorate this collaborative effort by hosting a celebration with your new BEST friends or swapping photos of each other. Post the photos in your exhibit booth and share on the BEST Facebook page! Celebrate teamwork!

Community Connection

Invite a fire investigator to visit your school to share real-life fire scene stories. Prepare questions using the above resources relating each to a specific step of the scientific method or engineering design process. Reflect on the visit and what you learned by writing five (5) new fire forensic facts in your journal. Be sure to capture a photo of your guest with your BEST team!

Hot Topic in the News: Read recent news and data by the National Fire Protection Association. Click HERE

A Burning Question for a Fire Investigator: What happens to fingerprints in a fire?

(We encourage teams to contact a local fire investigator and ask this question. Record the answer in your journal)

Bloom’s Taxonomy: analyze, apply, ask, brainstorm, collaborate, critical thinking, decide, defend, determine, discuss, evaluate, give, host, include, listen, judgment, manage, post, prove, rank, refer, reflect, share, use, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, coordination, writing, social perceptiveness, service orientation, systems analysis, complex problem solving, mathematics, equipment selection and evaluation, science, judgment and decision making, technology

Download a PDF copy of bESTology Week – Click HERE

While the information contained in this website has been compiled from sources believed to be current and reliable, Friends of BEST in Alabama, Inc. (FBA) cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or content changes. Links made from this website are to reputable organizations at the time of posting. However, FBA cannot be held responsible for content on such linked websites. The existence of such links does not represent an endorsement by FBA of any views expressed or products or services offered.

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