Fingerprints

Exploring Fingerprints

No two fingerprints are exactly alike. But why are they different and how do forensic scientists use them to solve crimes? In this lesson, we took a close look at the unique features of fingerprints. Students learned that fingerprints come in 3 basic varieties: arch, loop, and whorl. The majority of people have loops, while only 4% of the population has arches. Fingerprinting has been used to catch criminals for over 100 years. Plastic, patent, and latent prints are three types of fingerprint evidence that can be found at a crime scene. Students even had a chance to try their skill at taking their own fingerprints and learned how to dust and lift prints. Perhaps a career in forensics is in your student’s future?

Explorando huellas dactilares

No existen dos huellas digitales idénticas; pero ¿por qué? y ¿cómo los científicos forenses las utilizan para resolver crímenes? En la clase de hoy, observamos en detalle las características de las huellas dactilares. Los estudiantes aprendieron que las huellas presentan 3 patrones distintos: arcos, espirales y bucles. La mayoría de las personas tienen espirales, mientras que sólo el 4% de la población tiene arcos en sus huellas. La toma de huellas dactilares ha sido utilizada para atrapar criminales por más de 100 años. Hay diferentes tipos de huellas dactilares que se pueden encontrar en una escena del crimen, las denominadas “plásticas”, “patentes y “latentes”. Los estudiantes tuvieron la oportunidad de probar sus habilidades al tomar sus propias huellas dactilares, y además aprendieron cómo “levantar” huellas usando polvo. ¡Quizá, ahora su hijo o hija se interese en las ciencias forenses!

 

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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