Making Fingerprints

In science class, you have been learning about traits. You inherited many of your traits from your parents—such as eye color, hair color, and nose shape. But nobody else has fingerprints exactly like yours. Try this activity to see what your fingerprints look like. Then you can compare your fingerprints with those of other members of your family.

Materials

Three finger prints.

Procedure

Rub a pencil back and forth across a small section of paper until the paper is quite dark. Rub your thumb and fingers on your nose to pick up some skin oil. Press your thumb or a finger firmly on the darkened area of paper until the pencil rubbing transfers to your skin. Stick a piece of clear tape across the dark part of your fingertip. Now carefully remove the piece of tape and stick it on the sheet of paper. Use a magnifying glass to study your fingerprints. Your fingerprints will probably show one of the characteristics you see in the pictures above.

Results

What type of fingerprints do you have? How do you think your fingerprints compare to those of your family members? Why are fingerprints useful for identifying people?