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FK01 series Forensic Science Laboratory Kits

Download a full PDF copy of Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments

The FK01-series Forensic Science Laboratory Kits are the companion kits for our book, Illustrated Guide to Home Forensic Science Experiments: All Lab, No Lecture. FK01 kits are currently in stock and available for immediate shipping. Orders received by 10:00 a.m. eastern time on any business day normally ship that day. Orders received after 10:00 a.m. normally ship the following business day. We ship to street addresses and PO boxes in all 50 states via USPS Priority Mail, with typical delivery times of 1 to 3 business days. No international sales.

Note: As of 1 June 2013, we are no longer able to accept orders for forensic science kits for delivery to APO/FPO addresses. Sorry.

We use PayPal to do our credit card processing securely. You can order kits via PayPal using any major credit card. Sales tax at 6.75% is added automatically for products shipped to North Carolina addresses. No international sales. Hazardous material shipping regulations and the nature of the kits make it impossible for us to accept returns, so please be certain you want the kit before you order it. All sales are final.

If you have questions before ordering, please email us at: support (at) thehomescientist dot com.

To order one kit, click the Add to Cart icon. To order more than one kit, click the Add to Cart button and then update the quantity in the shopping cart before submitting the order.

FK01A Core Forensic Science Kit, $179:
FK01B Forensic Science Kit Supplement 1 (requires FK01A), $71:
FK01C Forensic Science Kit Supplement 2 (requires FK01A), $89:


About the FK01-series Forensic Science Kits


From August 2012 through mid-March 2013, we sold the FK01 Forensic Science Kit, a consolidated kit that included all of the components listed on this page. During that period, we received numerous queries from homeschool parents asking us to offer a simpler, less expensive forensics kit. So we decided to break up the consolidated FK01 kit into three kits: the FK01A Core Forensic Science Kit and two supplemental kits.

FK01A Core Forensic Science Kit


Other than a microscope (required), balance (optional), and inexpensive spectroscope (optional), the FK01A Core Forensic Science Kit provides the specialized chemicals, equipment, and specimens needed to complete the lab sessions in the following groups:

        - Group I: Soil Analysis
        - Group II: Hair and Fiber Analysis
        - Group III: Glass and Plastic Analysis
        - Group IV: Revealing Latent Fingerprints
        - Group V: Detecting Blood
        - Group VI: Impression Analysis

Completing all of the lab sessions in these six groups provides a significant lab component for a first-year forensic science course. Depending on how quickly you work, whether you do the lab sessions in full, whether you do optional activities, and so on, you can expect to devote 35 to 50 hours or more to hands-on lab work to complete these sessions.

The FK01A kit contains the following chemicals, equipment, and other materials:

□ Ascorbic acid tablets
□ Alligator clip leads (2, black and red)
□ Beaker, 100 mL, PP
□ Beaker, 250 mL, glass
□ Blood, synthetic
□ Bottle, sprayer
□ Candle1
□ Cartridge case, brass, fired
□ Centrifuge tubes, 1.5 mL micro
□ Centrifuge tubes, 15 mL
□ Centrifuge tubes, 50 mL
□ Chromatography paper
□ Cylinder, graduated, PP, 10 mL
□ Cylinder, graduated, PP, 100 mL
□ Fabric specimens A, B, C, D, and E
□ Filters, plane-Polarizing (2)
□ Fingerprint brush
□ Fingerprint powder, black
□ Fingerprint powder, white
□ Forceps
□ Gentian violet solution, 0.1% aqueous
□ Glycerol
□ Goggles, chemical splash (w/ cap vents)
□ Hydrochloric acid, 6.0 M
□ Inoculating loop, nichrome
□ Iodine crystals
□ Kastle-Meyer reagent2
□ Magnifier
□ Mesh, fiberglass
□ Modeling clay
□ Molybdate reagent
□ Ninhydrin powder
□ Oil, cassia
□ Oil, olive
□ Phosphate extraction reagent, concentrate
□ Phosphate standard, 1000 ppm phosphate
□ Pipettes, PE, thin
□ Reaction plate, 24-well
□ Ruler, 6”/150mm
□ Scalpel
□ Slide cover slips
□ Slide, thick cavity (3mm thick)
□ Slide, flat
□ Sodium dithionite
□ Spatula, stainless, 4”, flat/spoon
□ Spectroscopy questioned soil
□ Spot plate, 12-well
□ Stirring rod, 6” x 5mm
□ Stoppers
□ Teasing needle, bent
□ Teasing needle, straight
□ Test tube brush
□ Test tube clamp
□ Test tube rack, 12-position
□ Test tubes, glass
□ Testfabrics Multifiber Fabric #43
□ Testfabrics TIS #1 dye
□ Testfabrics TIS #3A dye
□ Zinc chloride reagent


FK01B Forensic Science Kit Supplement 1

The FK01B Forensic Science Kit Supplement 1 requires the equipment and chemicals included in the Core kit. It provides the additional specialized chemicals and specimens to complete the lab sessions in the following groups::

        - Group VII: Forensic Drug Testing
        - Group VIII: Forensic Toxicology

The FK01B kit contains the following chemicals and specimens:

□ Acetaminophen
□ Aspirin
□ Caffeine
□ Chlorpheniramine
□ Chromatography questioned
□ Copper(II) sulfate solution
□ Diphenhydramine
□ Dragendorff's reagent A (HCl + bismuth)3
□ Dragendorff's reagent B (5% m/v KI)3
□ Drug testing questioned A
□ Drug testing questioned B
□ Ibuprofen
□ Iodine/iodide solution, 0.1 M
□ Mandelin reagent4
□ Marquis reagent5
□ Poppy seeds
□ Salicylate reagent
□ Salicylate standard solution, 500 mg/dL
□ Scott reagent
□ Sodium carbonate, 1.0 M
□ Starch indicator solution
□ Sulfuric acid, concentrated, ACS reagent, 30 mL4, 5

Note: We package the FK01B kit as a separate item because we've had numerous requests from homeschool parents who didn't want drug testing functions in the kit. Also, in some jurisdictions it's illegal for individuals to possess these drug testing reagents. Please verify that you will not be violating any local or state laws or regulations by possessing this kit before you order this kit.

FK01C Forensic Science Kit Supplement 2

The FK01C Forensic Science Kit Supplement 2 requires the equipment and chemicals included in the Core kit. It provides the additional specialized chemicals and specimens to complete the lab sessions in the following groups::

        - Group IX: Gunshot and Explosive Residues Analysis
        - Group X: Detecting Altered and Forged Documents
        - Group XI: Forensic Biology

The FK01C kit contains the following chemicals6 and specimens:

□ Agar powder, 10 g
□ Buffer, DNA loading, 6X concentrate
□ Buffer, DNA running, 20X concentrate
□ Chlorate known
□ Diphenylamine reagent
□ Herzberg's stain
□ Iodide/Glycerol reagent
□ Jenk's stain
□ Lead nitrate, 0.1% (nitrate known)
□ Meat Tenderizer (papain-based)
□ Methylene blue reagent, part A
□ Methylene blue reagent, part B
□ Methylene Blue, 1% aqueous
□ Modified Griess reagent, part A
□ Modified Griess reagent, part B
□ Perchlorate known
□ Sodium nitrite, 1% w/v

1 The book lists the kit as containing a cross-sectioning slide, used to produce cross-sections of individual fibers, but many people seem to have trouble making this procedure work. Accordingly, in kits shipped after August 2014, we substitute a small candle for the cross-sectioning slide. Figure II-7-7 in the manual illustrates the procedure for making fiber cross-sections using candle wax and a scalpel or razor blade, which most people find much easier than using the cross-sectioning slide.

2 Until August 2014, we supplied Kastle-Meyer reagent that was a 50:50 v/v mixture of straight KM reagent with 70% ethanol. In FK01A kits shipped after 27 August 2014, the contents of the KM reagent bottle are pure KM reagent. We made this change to extend shelf life. The purpose of the ethanol in the original mixture was to lyse (split) blood cells, releasing the hemoglobin, which catalyze the KM reaction. The current pure KM reagent still works properly with the synthetic blood supplied with the kit. If you are using actual blood, you will need to use your own ethanol (or isopropanol) to lyse the blood cells before applying the KM reagent. To do so, simply add one drop of the alcohol to the swab and allow the alcohol to work for a few seconds before applying a drop of the pure KM reagent.

3 The book lists Dragendorff's reagent as being provided with the FK01 Forensic Science Kit. Kits manufactured through January 2013 included a 30 mL bottle of Dragendorff's reagent. Kits manufactured from January 2013 include a bottle with 10 mL of Dragendorff's reagent A and a second bottle with 20 mL of Dragendorff's reagent B. To make up Dragendorff's reagent from parts A and B, combine one part A with two parts B. You can, for example, mix 1 mL of A with 2 mL of B to make up3 mL of Dragendorff's reagent working solution, or you can simply pour the contents of the Dragendorff's reagent A into the bottle of Dragendorff's reagent B.

We took this action to extend the cosmetic shelf life of the Dragendorff's reagent. Even unopened, the pre-mixed Dragendorff's reagent included in earlier kits may darken to a dark yellow-brown color rather than the deep golden yellow color of the freshly-mixed reagent. This change is cosmetic only. We have verified that the darkened reagent still functions exactly the same as freshly-mixed reagent, and is just as sensitive.

4 Prior to January 2014, we supplied Mandelin reagent in ready-to-use made-up form. To extend shelf life, we began supplying this reagent in divided form. The bottle labeled "Mandelin Reagent" contains a tiny amount of ammonium metavanadate powder. To activate the reagent, carefully transfer about 10 mL of concentrated sulfuric acid to the bottle (make sure not to fill the bottle completely), recap it, and swirl to dissolve the powder. With proper storage and infrequent use, the shelf life of the mixed reagent should be six months to a year.

5 Prior to January 2014, we supplied Marquis reagent in ready-to-use made-up form. To extend shelf life, we began supplying this reagent in divided form. The bottle labeled "Marquis Reagent" contains about 0.5 mL of formaldehyde solution. To activate the reagent, carefully transfer about 9 mL of concentrated sulfuric acid to the bottle (make sure not to fill the bottle completely), recap it, and swirl to mix the solutions. (It is normal for the bottle to become warm when you add the sulfuric acid.) With proper storage and infrequent use, the shelf life of the mixed reagent should be six months to a year.

6 Prior to August 2014, we included a 30 mL bottle of 30% hydrogen peroxide in the FK01C kit, but we discontinued doing so because of shipping and shelf-life issues. Concentrated solutions of hydrogen peroxide are available locally from many health-food stores, restaurant-supply vendors, and beautician-supply vendors. Also, many restaurants use 30% hydrogen peroxide to sterilize food-preparation equipment, and some are willing to give or sell a small amount to customers.

Please note that many of the materials included in the FK01 kits are hazardous if handled or used improperly. Before opening or using the kit, please take the time to read the Material Safety Data Sheets, and observe all recommended precautions and safety measures while using the kit.




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