EASY FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Easy and forensic seem like a dichotomy but it is possible to find easy forensic science experiments. (For example, right here!) Forensic experiments are cool and fun for your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, as a classroom activity or for a birthday party, with minimal materials! I’m going to show you how to do 2 forensic science experiments at home!
EASY FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS PODCAST
Forensic evidence often helps to establish the guilt or innocence of possible suspects.
Fingerprints have long been considered one of the most valuable types of physical evidence that can be found at a crime scene.
Fingerprint identification is employed by police squads and agencies as a powerful weapon for combating crime. This technique helps crime fighters all over the world, by providing them with a reliable and accurate means of identifying suspects.
FORENSIC CHEMISTRY LAB ACTIVITIES
That’s why our easy forensic science experiments will involve fingerprint collection!
First a word about fingerprints. Why do we even have fingerprints? What is the point of fingerprints? When did humans discover them?
WHY DO WE HAVE FINGERPRINTS?
WHAT IS THE POINT OF FINGERPRINTS?
A BRIEF HISTORY OF FINGERPRINTS...or skip the slides if this isn't sufficiently brief!
There are eight fingerprint patterns currently recognized by the FBI, but there are three basic types of fingerprints.
Which fingerprint pattern do you have? One of my kids is excited because he has the arch pattern.
Ancient Romans branded runaway slaves with the letters FVG, meaning “fugitive.” Hm…that guy on the far right has a V on his chest. Maybe he escaped b4 the Romans could finish the job? (He looks a little sketchy.)
Case in point; Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, The Scarlet Letter, was based on a 1636 code of laws known as the ‘General Fundamentals,’ put into effect at the colony in Plymouth, MA.
Convicted adulterers were to be punished by wearing the letters ‘A’ and ‘D’ sewn on to their garments.
What do you think the ‘D’ stands for? Dumb dumb?
EASY FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS AT HOME # 1
We can collect all the fingerprints we want, but it won’t do us any good if we can’t ID who belongs to which fingerprints!
To catch a criminal, we need fingerprints on file. Like the FBI, we must create a database!
Ours won’t have 800,000 prints. Maybe stick with family and / or friends!
SUPPLIES FOR CREATING OUR FINGERPRINT DATABASE
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS # 1 : FINGERPRINT DATABASE COMPILATION
- Use a piece of fresh paper for each person.
- Color their finger with the marker.
- Press their finger onto the paper.
- Don’t forget to label each paper with names!
- Keep your database together in a folder or binder.
THREE TYPES OF FINGERPRINTS
The fact that latent fingerprints are invisible brings us to forensic science experiment # 2!
We’re going to make the invisible, visible!
How? With superglue!
See! An easy forensic science experiment! Go chemistry.
EASY FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS # 2
In 1978, the Criminal Identification Division of the Japanese National Police Agency began employing a chemical technique now known as the super glue identification method or the cyanoacrylate fuming method.
We’re going to do this, too! Easy forensic science experiments at home.
This isn’t magic. It involves a chemical reaction. Chemistry experiments! Hurrah.
SUPPLIES FOR THE SUPERGLUE IDENTIFICATION METHOD
- Cotton balls
- Small glass that will fit into our gallon-sized bag
- Aluminum foil
- Gallon-sized, sealable bag
- Gloves optional
INSTRUCTIONS FOR EASY FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS # 2
I decided a how-to video of this forensic experiment was a good idea. I also wanted to see if it would really work. It was fun, made more fun because the experiment was a success!
What wasn’t as much fun was balancing my phone on two stacks of books and talking while worrying about it falling down. Or using the brand-new-to-me editing software. I wanted to create a cohesive you tube video.
THE FORENSIC SCIENCE EXPERIMENT IS EASIER THAN EDITING THIS VIDEO!
THE WHY BEHIND THE SUPERGLUE IDENTIFICATION METHOD
Let me know if you give these two easy forensic science experiments a try at home. It’s a lot of fun. And it’s chemistry.