This week with our homeschool co-op, we explored basic forensic science concepts! This was a really fun and engaging activity that the kids loved and much of it is super simple to set up!
What you will need:
- a UV torch (aka blacklight – we got ours for cheap on ebay)
- a washable ink stamp pad (if in Australia or NZ, you can purchase here)
- a fingerprint card (see below)
- a fingerprint pattern identification card (see below)
- highlighters (if in Australia or NZ, you can purchase here)
We discussed how everyone’s fingerprints are different and how there are ways to identify fingerprints. Each child filled out a fingerprint ID card and the older one’s got to practice their left and right and the names of each finger. Tip: use washable ink so that little black fingerprints don’t end up all over the place!
Forensic science is a fun and unique topic to cover. You don’t have to get into the nitty gritty of what it entails and why it is used for kids to have a meaningful learning experience and cover many interesting topics!
Download your own Fingerprint Pattern Classification printable
Using their fingerprint cards, some of the kids identified the patterns in their prints and we talked about how they were all so different.
Using blacklight UV torches, the kids searched the area for pre-planted ‘secret messages’ that I created with highlighters. I simply wrote little messages at the children’s height for them to uncover. It was exciting for them to see the fluorescence and find these magic words!
I also printed several of my own fingerprints by rubbing a highlighter over my finger and pressing it strategically on doors, windows, tables around the area. Several of the younger kids were very keen to know who put these prints all over the place!
Lastly, for the older kids (including some adults!) and some of the interested younger kids, we had a great hair and fibre activity. The printable activity has a quiz and more information which is brilliant.
Download the Hair and Fibre Challenge
A fellow homeschooling mama bought along some slides and a microscope for us to examine some hairs and fibres and note the differences and similarities.
For the older kids, this DK book is brilliant:
Do you think your children would enjoy investigating fingerprints and fluorescence?
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