CSI Science: Get the Prints!
This activity could be used by a teen taking a high school science class at any level. Motivate your teen by issuing a friendly challenge: bet he can't tell whose fingerprints are on drinking glass, spoon, or some other household object! By becoming involved in a simulated crime scene you may be able help your child see how the science lab skills they are developing in school has a real world application. Here's how to get started:
What You Need:
- Index card or piece of white paper
- Transparent tape or clear packing tape
- Talcum powder or cornstarch
- Small paint or makeup brush with very soft bristles
- Spoon or drinking glass
- Cocoa powder
- Identiprint (optional)
The patterns of ridges on our fingers are unique. No two individuals, even identical twins, have fingerprints that are exactly alike. We leave impressions, or prints, of these patterns on everything we touch. The prints can be visible, as when our fingers are dirty or oily, or they can be "latent," as when they are made only by the sweat that is always present on our finger ridges. Not even injuries such as burns or scrapes can change the fingerprint structure.