- Teaching Notes
A Case Involving the Chemical Detection of Cocaine-Contaminated Currency
"Tom Brown" is arrested at the airport on his way home for winter break and charged with possession of cocaine when a drug sniffing dog detects traces of the narcotic in his caryy-on bag. Some of the money he is carrying has apparently been contaminated with cocaine. Students are introduced to concepts in experimental design, sampling, the interpretation of scientific data, and the reliability of results as they design an experiment to determine what percentage of paper currency is contaminated with cocaine. The case includes lab work involving the use of GC/MS techniques and instrumentation. The case was designed for a chemistry course for non-science majors.
|Keywords:||Experimental design; sampling; cocaine contamination; mass spectrometry; gas chromatography; RICO Act|
|Topical Area:||Legal issues|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division|
|Type/Method:||Dilemma/Decision, Laboratory, Role-Play, Trial|
|Subject Headings:||Chemistry (General) Analytical Chemistry|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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