Fingerprints as Evidence

Session Activity

Today you are going to practice finding and developing fingerprints!

1.  Watch the video on developing fingerprints.

2.  In groups of two or three you will use the glass jars provided.  One group member will get the jar and pick it up to leave fingerprints on the jar.

3.  Use the materials provided to find and develop the prints.

4.  Watch the video on taking fingerprints.

5.  Use the materials provided to take fingerprints for each group member.

6.  Use the resources located on this Libguide page and consider these questions:  

  • What do you see in your fingerprints?  Patterns?
  • What do you notice when you look at your fingerprint through a magnifying glass.
  • Are the prints on all of your fingers the same?
  • Are your fingerprints the same as someone else in the group?
  • What type of pattern do your fingerprints have?
  • What do you notice about the Level 2 details of your fingerprints?

7.  Consider the crime scene.  What pieces of evidence will we need to dust for fingerprints?  What do we do next?  After finishing the above tasks, work to find and develop fingerprints from one piece of evidence at our crime scene.

Need more information? Try a Google search.

This box will allow you to search for more information about fingerprints and fingerprinting.

Google Web Search

Forensics Science in Fingerprinting

How does fingerprinting make a difference in the lives of others?  Find out what Samantha Glass, Forensic Scientist believes about fingerprinting and her job.

How to Dust for Fingerprints

Latent fingerprints are those that can not be seen with the naked eye.  Find out how to dust for and develop latent fingerprints by watching this short video.  

What other kinds of fingerprint evidence are there?

Taking Fingerprints

In order to match fingerprint evidence, you must have the fingerprint of the guilty or susected.  Watch this short how-to video to find out how to take quality fingerprints from an individual.

Web Resources

Need more information? Use these web resources to learn more information about fingerprints as evidence or check out what other students have found on our wiki.  

FBI Fingerprinting Card

FBI Fingerprinting Guide

Fingerprint Patterns 

Fingerprint Identification

Student Wiki

Fingerprinting Wiki Page

Don't forget about the Crime Scene Wikispace.  Share what you've learned or collaborate with others on it!

Fingerprinting Wiki Page