116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Fingerprints are unique to each person — even identical twins. No one else has the same fingerprints you do.
The ridges on your fingers don’t change as you grow or get older. Even when you burn, cut or scrape your finger, the original pattern of the fingerprint remains the same as the new skin grows.
The ridges on our fingers create our fingerprints, which are important because they help us grasp objects. We leave fingerprints when we touch solid surfaces because of the natural oils found in our skin.
This project will help you understand the purpose of fingerprints, and you will be able to identify similarities between different fingertips while playing a matching game. You will also make your own fingerprint using ink.
What you’ll need:
- Ink pad or washable markers
- Pen, pencil or markers
- Some people to fingerprint!
1. If you have an ink pad, press your finger into the pad of ink, then press it firmly on to a piece of scrap paper.
2. If you’re using washable markers, color your fingertip with a washable marker, and then quickly press it onto a piece of paper.
3.Turn your fingerprints into characters by adding arms, legs, faces, hair, etc. with a fine marker or pen.
4. Collect fingerprints from family members or friends. Turn those prints into unique characters. Then cut out all of your fingerprint characters and put them together into a family tree! Draw lines to show the family connections between each of you.
When you’re finished, reflect:
- What characteristics are similar between the fingerprints?
- What characteristics are different?
- What did you find interesting about the fingerprints?
- Did you notice any similarities in fingerprints of those who you are closely related to?
- Why are fingerprints sometimes helpful in solving crimes?
This activity was adapted from Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Heads In, Hearts In: A Delivery Approach to Family Enrichment 4-H Programming – Science Activities.
To get your child involved in fun learning opportunities, check out the affordable, in-person 4-H Day Camps scheduled throughout Linn County from June to August. Designed for grades K through 6, each day-long camp costs only $20, and financial assistance is available. Learn more at extension.iastate.edu/linn/content/4h-day-camps.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach in Linn County helps build a strong Iowa by engaging Iowans in research, education, and extension experiences to address current and emerging real-life challenges. The 4-H Youth Development program empowers youth to reach their full potential through youth-adult partnerships and research-based experiences. Linn County Extension Office website: www.extension.iastate.edu/linn