Stacy Molter: Crime Scene Science: How to Dust for Fingerprints
Our children love to play detective, so for a fun learning activity we studied crime scene science and learned how to dust for fingerprints.
Many children already have an idea about how to dust for fingerprints. Television shows and cartoons frequently show detectives dusting for fingerprints as they try to solve the mystery of who done it.
This week in homeschool class, we decided to try to learn more about the craft of dusting for fingerprints with some delicious, kid-friendly materials found in our pantry.
Crime Scene Science – How to Dust for Fingerprints
- glass cup or jar
- cocoa powder
- small, soft-bristle brush
- clear tape
- light-colored construction paper
- honey (optional)
- If your children have exceptionally clean fingers, sticky them up with a bit of honey. Be sure to clean off excess honey for a clean print.
- Press your child’s finger on the side of the glass cup or jar.
- Use cocoa to coat the fingerprint.
- Gently brush away excess cocoa powder with a small, soft-bristle brush.
5. Place the stick side of a piece of tape on the dusted fingerprint.
6. Gently lift the tape and place on the light colored construction paper.
For a fun activity, have children practice a mock crime scene. Secretly select one child to be the suspect and have them touch a glass object. Have the team dust for fingerprints, then analyze the print to determine which child is the subject.
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