The Activity

Case History: Diablo Highway is the second in the Case History forensic science series from Learn Engines. (The acclaimed Murder at Old Fields is the first). Case History features comprehensive forensic science lab activities based on actual crimes that occurred in the not-recent past.

Diablo Highway contains 11 lessons and nine lab activities for middle and high school students based on the double-murder of Hazel Frome and her daughter Nancy that occurred in March 1938 on a desert road in Southwest Texas. Diablo Highway is problem-based learning (PBL) that compels the application of science through real-world problem solving.

The Case

The Unsolved Frome Murders

The Frome murders prompted sensational nationwide news coverage as much because of the gruesome details of the murders as for the identity of the victims: two women of style and wealth, mother and daughter, traveling in their luxury car un-escorted through some of the most inhospitable terrain in America - the West Texas desert. This crime has never been solved.

In conducting the Diablo Highway lab activity based on the Frome Murders, students learn some of the tools and techniques of modern forensic science, such as Firearms Identification and Blood Typing, and apply this knowledge to solve this long-cold case.

The combination of the virtual lab activities and the real-world lab activities, makes Diablo Highway, and the other cases in the Case History series, “blended” learning activities. They provide the best of both the virtual and the real worlds for teachers and students in a richly rewarding and flexible educational experience. Based on a teacher's preference and schedule, combinations of these real and virtual labs can be taught to fit the time available.

Schedule a Demo

Request an appointment with a representative who will walk you through Diablo Highway and answer your questions. This no-obligation demo normally lasts 15-30 minutes and is conducted using online tools such as Skype or Google Hangouts to chat and share our screen with you.

Schedule a Demo

The Diablo Highway Online Activity

Diablo Highway contains 11 lessons and nine lab activities for middle and high school students based on the infamous unsolved Frome murders in March 1938 on a desert road in Southwest Texas. The activity is problem-based learning (PBL) that compels the application of science and is aligned with grade-appropriate NGSS standards. This is an online activity that students access via a web browser on any device connected to the internet including desktops, laptops, tablets, Chromebooks or smartphones.

Schedule a demo online to learn more.

Purchase Diablo Highway Virtual Online


The Diablo Highway Online Activity is also available to purchase from:

Carolina Biological Ward’s Natural Science

Left click and drag to rotate, right click and drag to pan, mouse wheel to zoom

The Diablo Highway Virtual Lab features 3D models of the control samples and the crime scene evidence.


The Diablo Highway Real World Kit

Materials from the Firearms Identification lab
Materials from the Blood Typing lab

The Diablo Highway real-world kit contains 10 lab activities for middle and high school students based on the double-murder of Hazel Frome and her daughter Nancy in March 1938 on a desert road in Southwest Texas. The activity is problem-based learning that compels the application of science through real-world problem solving and is aligned with grade-appropriate NGSS standards.

Kit includes everything to support a class of 30 students working in groups except microscopes. For grades 7-12.

  • Teacher’s Guide
  • One copymaster Student’s Guide
  • One copymaster “Story of the Crime” booklet
  • Access to the Online 3D Evidence Viewer

The Student’s Guide includes:

  • Clearly written, graphically-rich, easy-to-understand science lessons
  • Easy-to-follow procedures for the lab activities
  • Answer tables for the students to record their results and submit

The Teacher’s Guide includes:

  • Everything included in the Student Guide
  • Tips for the teacher on how to prepare for and conduct the labs
  • The answer key

Purchase Diablo Highway Kit

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