Following up on some recent secret agent fun, today Travis got to delve into real forensics! We’ve already talked about how everyone’s fingerprints are unique, and how real detectives use this fact to find “bad guys.” With a few simple tools, we could play detective, too.
First, make sure you have a few sharp pencils on hand, and rub on sandpaper.
The graphite will flake off, which Travis thought was neat. As we made piles of it, we dumped it into a small plastic jar until we had a nice amount.
Now invite your suspects (family members or friends, that is!) to press their finger against a piece of glass. We used a baby-safe mirror, but in retrospect I wish we’d used a window pane, as the imprint of a finger would last longer.
Dip an old make-up brush into the graphite, and then swirl over each print. The black will adhere to the fingerprints.
Press a piece of tape over the print, and transfer to paper. You can make circles on the paper in advance and label each with “suspect’s” name, if your child wants to!
Once the prints were on paper, we could examine them with a magnifying glass, too. Hmm, what case would Travis solve?
Overall, Travis thought the project was neat, but was most into the brush. This then became a forensic tool to dust all about the house. Let the imagination go wild from here!