Fingerprint Pattern Analysis in Forensics

This is a practical worksheet that gives enlarged fingerprint patterns and asks students to find the individual characteristics in the fingerprints.  This is a great way to give students the opportunity to make some comparisons themselves!Fingerprint Analysis Activity

Fingerprint Analysis In Practice…

This activity takes approximately 45 minutes for students to complete.  Often, after the students have completed this activity, I have them use plain white paper and an inkpad to make their own fingerprint patterns.  Depending on time and resources, these patterns can be scanned to enlarge them or made larger using a copy machine.  My students enjoy seeing their own fingerprints.

It is good to use in a Forensics course after discussing the different minutiae patterns, and how to do a ridge count by finding a core and delta.

This topic follows Crime Scene Protocols in my forensics curriculum.  The unit topics up to this point in the course are:

  • Introduction to Forensics
  • Crime Scene Protocols
  • Fingerprint Evidence

Check out the Forensics page for a full list of resources available for a Forensic Science course.

If you are interested in using my prezi with your class, you will find the information needed to complete the activity. The prezi describes some of the history of fingerprinting, people involved in major discoveries, and how fingerprints are use in a forensic investigation.  There is an embedded youtube video in the prezi and the powerpoint about IAFIS, the FBI’s database of fingerprints.  The content in the prezi and powerpoint are identical so it is just a matter of choice for the teacher.  So, do you want to use the free prezi or purchase the powerpoint from my TPT store?

Topics include:

  • Fingerprint technology through history
  • Formation of fingerprints
  • Collection of fingerprints
  • Comparison of fingerprint patterns
  • AFIS fingerprint database
Fingerprinting note guide for free prezi Fingerprinting PowerPoint lecture and student note guide

Fingerprint and Impression Evidence Inspiration

Looking for some new inspiration for your Forensics course?  The following list of websites are all related to Fingerprint and Impression Evidence and can be used as either teacher or student resources.

Check them out on Symbaloo, or see the list of links below:

Britain’s CSI School – Footprints – The One Show – YouTube

Superglue Fuming Tips

How-to Video Presentations

Latent Print Evidence Collection

Fingerprint Analysis: How It’s Done

Fingerprints’ hidden secrets – Click – BBC News – YouTube

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) – YouTube

Where Do Fingerprints Come From? – YouTube

Do you have any great resources to add to this list? Please post them in the comments and I’ll update the list!