Grade 7 Science

Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
Today’s
Tasks
1. Power of
Words
2. Pre-Lab
3. Lab
4. Post Lab
Questions

ATL’s

icatio
n
u
m
m
Co

n

1. The Power of Words
Obtain (v)
to get (something)

Omar obtained the information that he needed from the tourist
information booth.

Step 1. Copy the above word into your Vocabulary Book.
Step 2. Complete the activity on the back of this page.

ATL
Connections
- Communication
- Information
Literacy
- Collaboration

1

KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
ATL’s tion
nica

u
Comm

The Power of
Words
Answer the following in complete
sentences.

Obtain
Write a complete sentence about the cartoon above using the word Obtain.
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Write your own sentence using the word Obtain, suspect, and motive.
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2

KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
ATL’s
Informa
tion
Literacy

2. Pre-Lab Tasks
I need to know. . .

Background
Skin has two layers. The deeper layer is the dermis which contains sweat glands, oil glands,
nerves and blood vessels. The outer layer is the epidermis which is made of several layers of
cells arranged along ridge patterns. Fingerprints are formed during the fourth and fifth month of
pregnancy and remain unchanged for life.
When skin touches a surface sweat and oils are transferred onto it often leaving behind an
impression of the ridge pattern. These impressions are called latent fingerprints because they
are not usually visible to the eye.
Thumbprints were used centuries ago to authenticate documents, but fingerprints were first
described in detail in the 1600s and werenʼt used in solving crimes until about 1880. Police
now use sophisticated software to compare fingerprints found at crime scenes to vast
databases of stored fingerprint records.
On many surfaces, simple powders can be used to find fingerprints which can then be 'lifted'
using sticky tape to preserve them. Not all surfaces are smooth and shiny however, and many
materials absorb perspiration and oils into them so sophisticated techniques to reveal and
record fingerprints are often required.
Once the fingerprints are taken and labeled, forensic scientists use a classification system to
identify them. The three basic fingerprints pattern groups are Loop, Whorl, and Arch. There
are more complex classification systems that divide the groups further (such as plain arches
vs. tented arches, or double loops vs. single loops). We will only identify the three major
groups.

3

KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
ATL’s
Informa
tion
Literacy

Pre-Lab Tasks
I need to know. . .

1) What are two materials forensic scientists might use to obtain a fingerprint?
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2) What are the three major groups of fingerprint patterns?
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3) What do we call fingerprints on a surface that cannot usually be seen?
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4) Marc has been kidnapped, and is being held hostage. The kidnappers are demanding a
ransom of 20 million baht. To show they are serious they have sent a finger with the ransom
note!!! Marc only had his fingerprints taken when he was a baby. Can the police use those
fingerprints to verify if the finger is really Marc's? Explain why or why not.

4

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KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
3. The LAB

ATL’s

Collaboration

Procedure
1) Rub a small dark area with a pencil
on a sheet of white paper.
2) Press and rub your right index
finger in the pencil-lead dust. 
3) Place the sticky side of a piece of
transparent tape on the dusted finger.
4) Take the tape with the fingerprint
and tape it to the Fingerprint Table.
5) Continue the process until you
have all ten fingers finished.

Materials
Tape
Pencil
Fingers!

Name: __________________

Left Hand
Fingerprints

Finger

Left Little
Finger

Left Ring
Finger

Left Middle
Finger

Left Index
Finger

Left
Thumb

Right Little
Finger

Right Ring
Finger

Right Middle
Finger

Right Index
Finger

Right
Thumb

Type of
Print

Right Hand
Fingerprints

Finger
Type of
Print
5

KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
4. Post Lab Questions

Class Results
1) Find the frequency of fingerprint types on students' left ring fingers for the
whole class.
2) Complete the following table using your Math skills and a calculator.
3) Create a Pie Chart using your protractor.

Fingerprint
Type of Left
Ring Finger

Relative
Frequency

Frequency

Angle for
Pie Chart

Percentage

loop

whorl

arch
Total

Class Results
Pie Chart
Key
Loop - Green
Whorl - Red
Arch - Blue

ATL’s
on
i
t
a
m
r
Info acy
Liter
6

KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS
Discussion
1) What type of fingerprint was most common for your table?

2) What type of fingerprint was the most common for your class?

3) Were all of your fingerprints the same type?

4) Look at two of your fingerprints that are the same type. Are they identical?
Would more fingerprints at the crime scene be helpful or not?
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5) Describe a crime in which fingerprint analysis would be useful. Write your
description in complete sentences.
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6) Describe three ways that a criminal might avoid having their fingerprints
found at the scene of a crime.
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KIS International School Science 2010

Grade 7 Science
Mini Case #4

CSI:THE FINGERPRINT ANALYSIS

8

Conclusion
Write a 75 word conclusion summarizing what you did in class today. Which
fingerprints were the most common, how you think your results might change if
you took samples from the entire school, and why large data samples are
important.
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KIS International School Science 2010

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