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| LAUNCH POINT: Where Learning and the Internet Meet


August 20, 2000

When we think of detectives, we may think of someone like Sherlock Holmes, who emerges from the London fog with the answers to such questions as whodunit? And why? And yet every day we can be detectives, using our powers of observation, analysis and deduction to solve cases ranging from finding missing items to discovering how and why something works the way it does. Enjoy the thrill of solving mysteries and develop your own investigative and analytical powers through this collection of mysteries on the Times Launch Point Web site


Mystery: Sherlock Holmes. Encyclopedia Brown. Nancy Drew. This elementary school student project introduces you to the mystery genre by explaining its elements and giving you opportunities to both solve and write your own mystery stories.

GeoMysteries: Explore the unique properties of rocks, fossils and minerals as you help Rex the Dino Detective solve mysteries involving a floating rock, a golden cube and a broken necklace.

Great Plant Escape: Tackle six cases with Detective LePlant and his friends Bud and Sprout. Review the case brief and facts as you try activities that help you unravel the truth about plant life, from uncovering bulb impostors to figuring out which comes first, the root or the shoot.


The Case.Com for Kids: Can you solve the case of the missing music or the vandalized bike? Try solving weekly mysteries, read chiller stories like the one about the marching ghost band and write your own mystery stories as part of a monthly writing contest.

Ace on the Case: Secrets@Sea: Why are some killer whales in the Alanamorris Strait acting strangely? Find out as you collect clues and crack the code of this interactive mystery.

Evidence: The True Witness: Forensic scientists include biologists who analyze DNA and toxicologists who evaluate harmful effects of chemicals. This student project lets you meet forensic scientists who explain their work, learn about the history and techniques of forensic science and try your hand at solving a case.


MysteryNet's The Case: Fun and Challenging Mini-Mysteries: Test your wits by solving daily and weekly mini-mysteries and puzzles, check out extensive resources on such greats as Agatha Christie, Ross MacDonald and Edgar Allen Poe and learn how to write mysteries of your own.

Anatomy of a Murder: A Trip Through Our Nation's Legal Justice System: This award-winning high school student project lets you trace a case from the scene of the crime until a guilty verdict has been reached. Enjoy mood music as you peer over the shoulder of Detective MacArthur and see how he pieces the facts to solve the case.

A. Pintura: Art Detective: Learn how to distinguish the work of artists like Raphael, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and Picasso as you track down the clues to solve the case of Grandpa's missing painting.


The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.

What do red herrings have to do with mysteries?

CLUE: See Mystery

Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point covers more than 100 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and direct links to the best Internet sites.

Answer to last week's Quest: Eight character traits that demonstrate good sportsmanship are courage, good judgment, integrity, kindness, perseverance, respect, responsibility and self-discipline.


Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Anna Manring.

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