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How to Create a Fingerprint Science Fair Project


Fingerprints can be a fascinating subject for a science fair project. There are several different aspects of fingerprints to explore in a science fair format. Fingerprints make a great visual for a science fair trifold and the subject gets even young kids engaged. Everyone can relate to fingerprints.

Designing the Project

The first thing you'll need to determine is what kind of fingerprint experiment you want to conduct. Some possible topics include:

  • Fingerprint similarity between family and non-related people
  • Percentage of different fingerprint patterns in a random sample
  • Readability of latent fingerprints left by different mediums (ie. sweat, blood, mud)

It's helpful to think about and articulate what first interested you in the topic and also what could be some results of your experiment. In other words, why do you care - and why should anyone else care?

Once you know what you're going to explore, create your hypothesis, or assumption about what you expect the results of your fingerprint science project to reveal. Make sure to state the basis of your expectations.

Collecting Fingerprints

Fingerprints can be recorded by applying special ink to the fingers and pressing down on a white card. This produces a copy of the fingerprints. (At crime scenes, fingerprints may be visible because he criminals fingers were soiled with blood, dirt, or other substances. Non-visible prints (latent) are left by perspiration or oils on the fingers.) For the purposes of a science project, regular ink will do the job.

Printable Fingerprint Card

You will only need a few household items for this project:

  • Ink pad
  • Magnifying glass
  • Paper
  • Ink pen

Label paper with the child's name. If you don't mind a mess, let the kids take each other's prints. But if you have nice fabric close by, let a parent help. Starting with the pinky finger of the left hand, press fingers into ink then touch to the paper. (Experts roll each finger from left to right to get a more thorough print.) Let the prints dry, then observe with the magnifying glass.

Presenting Results

When it's time to present your results, the more visual the better. Be sure to include graphs, pictures, and a sample of your experiment materials (ie. the fingerprints!)

Analyze your results, paying special attention to surprises and thing you learned or would have done differently.

Many science projects include a research component. There is a vast amount of information available on the history of the use of fingerprints by law enforcement.

See Also:

Fingerprint Science Project For Kids

Application For Fingerprints By the FBI and Law Enforcement

How to Create a Fingerprint Science Fair Project

Fingerprinting Your Kids at School

All About Fingerprints

Fingerprint Classification Project

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When I Grow Up: Jobs With the FBI


Demetria Jones on September 16, 2011:

wow yhats amazing that's great

sarah green on September 11, 2011:

this doesn't provide anything!

john on April 28, 2011:

it is really fun but hard

im on April 16, 2011:

this project helps me to do mi project thanks

you will never know on February 26, 2011:

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you will never know on February 26, 2011:

hi hobnockers i am sam off of i carly if you what to talk to me call 5755384 thnks

yoo on February 18, 2011:

why not imprints

Shannon on December 28, 2010:

(: thanks so much! everything i read before was so dull. i couldn't find anything that wasn't boring in my view. but then i read this and i didn't stop until i finished. either this is a really great project or im desperate. either way.. im totally using this. thank you again. :D

Brianna on December 18, 2010:

AMAZiNG!!!!! Lots of help!! thanks!

sarh on October 07, 2010:

cool for kids right back

amanda on October 06, 2010:

the best science fair project for kids

Baby Bunny Ownz on September 30, 2010:

I loved this science fair project!!! I'm going to change it a bit to use it for my science fair project this year!!! :-)

sarah on August 16, 2010:

awesome i can definally use this on my project thx lots

amanda on June 01, 2010:

cool, i did this for the school science fair

opismedia on May 26, 2010:

Cool experiment :D thanks for sharing it.

villam on April 05, 2010:

Great info! Very useful! This will help my child do her project

freaky monkey on March 07, 2010:

My partner and I got everything done just from this website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ATL IN DA HOUZE on February 23, 2010:

My qurstion to yall is: do you need water to do a finger print experiment with real fingerprint powder???

dakota on February 03, 2010:

thanks a lot this helped me very much i got ewnough info for my 6th grade project

naynay on January 25, 2010:

thanks my lil bro was doin a project and this was like so perfect!!!!!

Marissia Bibbo on January 19, 2010:

This is really good for me i am in 7th grade and i picked fingerprints and heredity :P YAHH ME >:( :)

Daddy on January 15, 2010:

Thanks!!! This helped me so much!!! VERY ENTERESTING!!!

frogyfish from Central United States of America on January 12, 2010:

This would be a great shared fun project for class science or just kid-share fun! Great idea and simple to do.

cbears on January 09, 2010:

I love this! it's going to help me with my project a lot!

allison on January 06, 2010:

this is so cool i love this lol,im at school right now but i am doing science but i love this website,im in loooooooooooooooooooooooooove.

mommy on January 05, 2010:

hey this is a cool sience project

jessicab from Alabama on December 27, 2009:

I just love science, very interesting hub.

future C.S.I on December 11, 2009:

thnks loads i read this and now i figured mine out:)

"Does T.V. criminal science effect your original thinking & is it good or bad?"

Launie on November 21, 2009:

It was very helpful and it can to any one else

hate joxdude on November 19, 2009:

hey joxdude u don't know how to spell

EXPIREMENT my little sister can but not u that's lame and ur lame!!!!! hahaha

joxdude on November 11, 2009:

this excperiment lags NOTHING!!!

joxdude on November 11, 2009:

this excperiment lags NOTHING!!!

joxdude on November 11, 2009:

Awsomest excperiment!!!!!!!!!LOL

habhbkxh on November 08, 2009:

this is not that hard but a little cofusing

GI JOE on November 08, 2009:

This is and good project but i just don't get it. And this has to be easy?

vatery on November 08, 2009:

tis project is very hard and i have to finish it by tomorrow

JazZiE on November 05, 2009:

This Helped A lot..

But Using A Graph i Really Don't

Get It..

LaRiSsA on October 16, 2009:

hi!!!! this thing is so helpful and easy!!!!! I love it!!!!

=) hee hee haa haa!!!

weirdo on October 16, 2009:

this thing is so helpful!!!!

m0nk3y on September 15, 2009:

this is a very cool science experiment

QouSay on September 15, 2009:

+1 so cool.. hehehe

angelou on September 14, 2009:

it is veryyyyyyyyyyyyy coollllll i hope there is more nicer than this

ScienceFairLady on August 17, 2009:

Excellent fun science fair project. What I like about this particular experiment is that it is easy, not expensive and can involve the whole family.

CSI Science Fair Projects on June 04, 2009:

Fun and interesting science fair projects like the fingerprint science fair projects you mention are great for exciting kids about science. Other fun topics include: blood typing, biometrics and dna extraction.

SecretMonkeyUnicornPerson on May 19, 2009:

How come all of these websites have the SAME THING that I just cant put in my own words? I'LL TELL YOU WHY!!! THE WORLD IS RUN BY THE MAN, AND THE MAN HATES ME!

VictoriaKittyLover on April 21, 2009:

I am doing my 5th grade science fair project on this! Thanks 4 the help!

raschell on December 03, 2008:

I am 11 his is goodfor me in science

magriet on May 22, 2008:

Very interesting, thanks. Would not have thought to use it, at all. I knew the basics but I did not think it would be enough to do an actual project. Was I wrong!

Ann Martin on May 19, 2008:

i liked reading your bio so i clicked on this site. I see that motherhood has provided you with a wealth of useful information - good for you for sharing!!!

donnaleemason from North Dakota, USA on May 15, 2008:

Interesting, I would never have thought of using it, how creative.


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