Lifting Fingerprints


Every person has unique fingerprints that can leave invisible marks on anything they touch!

What do I need?
  • Baby powder or other fine powder
  • Small brush
  • Scotch tape
  • Dark color paper construction paper
  • A smooth flat surface
  • Your fingerprints
What do I do?
  1. Press your finger on a smooth, flat surface.
  2. Sprinkle a bit of powder on the spot.
  3. Gently brush off the excess powder.
  4. Place a strip of clear tape on the powdered print.
  5. Lift the tape off (the print should be visible), and place it on a contrasting paper.
  6. Find prints around your home! What shape are they? Arches, Loops, or Whorls?
What's going on?

The skin on our fingers is coated with sweat and oils that stamps invisible fingerprints on doorknobs, glasses and all other surfaces! These fingerprints can be sorted into 2 main types: arch, loop and whorl.

Fingerprint types diagram


Because they can easily be left behind on many surfaces, fingerprints are a great piece of evidence for detectives and forensic scientists to use.

To make a fingerprint to be visible to the naked eye, detectives and forensic scientists dust for fingerprints using lycopodium powder.

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