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How Franklin expedition mystery could be solved by high school students

All Points West, CBC News

May 26, 2015

The Canadian school year may be almost over, but a new website is inviting students to solve one of oldest cold cases so far — Sir John Franklin's fateful voyage to find the Northwest Passage.

"History is too important to be boring, and these mysteries are too intriguing to be left to historians alone," said John Lutz, University of Victoria history professor and one of the founders of the project. 

The Franklin Mystery: Life and Death in the Arctic is part of an ongoing project called Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History, a collection of websites, each one focusing on a mystery from Canadian history.

"We literally put the magnifying glass into the hands of students, using these 13 websites to help make Canadian history exciting, real and totally engaging."

The websites allow high school and university students to analyze primary historical documents, crime scene reconstructions and historical interpretations by experts, to learn critical thinking — and solve mysteries. 

In the past, the project has picked mysteries that focus on issues such as slavery, terrorism, religious dissent and early settlement — but this time, it's all about the mysteries of the deep.