Plato's Pond - Use Science to Solve The Crime


Use science to solve the crime!

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Crime Scene


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Crime Scene

Crime Scene

Enter at your own risk.

Who Did It?

Who Did It?

Five suspects, all of them snodlops.

Use Science to Solve a Crime!

What begins as an attempt to catch a stray dog quickly turns into an adventure of a lifetime for Watson, Crick and Rosalind. The clever canine tricks them into entering a forgotten gateway that leads to the land of Gaia. There, they discover a wondrous world filled with majestic griffins, squabbling shell-less turtles, giant carnivorous plants and mischievous long-nosed snodlops. The three teenagers soon discover that they were summoned to solve a crime – a crime that if they don’t solve, will leave them stranded on Gaia forever!

Following the suspect’s trail, the kids find clues, but are unable to decipher their meaning unless they conduct a series of science experiments. Lacking both time and resources the characters in the book ask readers to help by posting the experiments online. (They are also posted in the back of the book.)

It is now up to the readers to help Watson, Crick and Rosa catch the thief and get home by conducting experiments and analyzing the evidence.

Help! Time is critical, and they’re running out of it!


There are five suspects who had motive to steal the key that that opens the gate between Earth to Gaia. All of the suspects are members of a small group of snodlops who follow the teachings of Pawd. They go by the name of the The Puzzling Pranksters of Pawd, P-Cubed, or more commonly P3.

Pawd was a misled mischievous snodlop who lived many generations ago. He believed that snodlops are the rightful caretakers of the master key, not griffins, and certainly not humans.

Detectives be warned! P-cubed snodlops are not to be trusted! They don’t take life seriously and tend to play games, creating puzzles and riddles that can be very tiresome especially if you are trying to find out who-did-it!

Some of you who have not read Plato’s Pond or have just started reading it may not know about snodlops. Well suffice to say snodlops are one of the oddest creatures you will ever read about and even more odd if you happen to meet one face to face.

Praise for Plato’s Pond

Plato’s Pond is a fun read for children and parents alike, for those interested in science as well as those who are not –but soon will be!” -School Science Review, The Association. for Science Education

Plato’s Pond is not your average whodunit. It is an extremely creative, action-packed adventure that gets kids excited about science.” – Robert Kelley, Massachusetts Dept. of Education

“Not only will kids find the story very exciting, teachers and parents will discover that the book is a great tool in enhancing children’s understanding of how science works.” – Ali Farhoodi, Ed.D

“Plato’s Pond is a great new mystery book for middle schoolers. I love that this novel gets kids excited about science by showing them what experiments reveal.” – Nell Minow, Movie Mom

“My students (including reluctant readers) had great fun reading Plato’s Pond and conducting the experiments.” – Tom Reich, seventh grade science teacher, Richmond, California

Teacher’s Packet

Welcome to Plato’s Pond, a thrilling mystery that will have your pupils engaging in scientific inquiry to solve a crime. The Master Key was stolen in the far-off land of Gaia. A key that–if it is not recovered–will not only disrupt the delicate ecological balance of Gaia, it will also leave three teenagers, Watson, Crick and Rosalind stranded there forever. It is up to your pupils to look for clues and conduct science experiments to save Gaia and get the book’s heroes home. 

During the story, your pupils will follow the book’s main characters as they travel through Gaia searching for the thief. A series of clues leads the three teenagers into six different ecosystems, each filled with a wild variety of plants and animals.  Within these unique environments it becomes evident that in order to solve the crime  it is imperative to understand how animals adapt to these habitats.

Watson, Crick and Rosalind also unearth forensic evidence, but on Gaia they lack the resources to conduct the experiments needed to analyze it. Out of desperation they seek assistance by using a smart phone to post the experiments online. Your pupils can help by conducting these experiments and using their results to eliminate innocent suspects. After all the experiments are done, only one suspect will remain, the thief! In this way, Plato’s Pond is unique in that it uses science experimentation as an objective, not just science experiments for experiments’ sake.

By participating, your pupils will enjoy an exciting mystery while enhancing their critical thinking skills and gaining experience in scientific experimentation.

The mystery is afoot,

Fred Andrews

Education Standards

Click here for British National Standards (PDF)
Plato’s Pond aligns with the following US National Education Standards
for supplementing classroom learning Grades 5-7

Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry

Students will gain the following abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

    • Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigation.
    • Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret data.
    • Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
  • Think critically and logically to make the relationship between evidence and explanations.

Content Standard B: Physical Science

Students will develop an understanding of

  • Properties and changes of properties in matter

Content Standard C: Life Science

Students will develop an understanding of

    • Structure and function in living systems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Content Standard D: Earth Science

Students will develop an understanding of

  • Structure of the earth system as it relates to erosion, deposition and sedimentation



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