• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Work with all your cloud files (Drive, Dropbox, and Slack and Gmail attachments) and documents (Google Docs, Sheets, and Notion) in one place. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!


CSI Crime Solvers

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 4 months ago

 Crime Scene Investigation


Who What When Where and Why?




Who took a bite out of the candy? Sticky fingers have been found on the broken aquarium glass. Wet footprints lead to the open window. What is that powdery substance next to the broken piggy bank? Answering these questions is what forensic science is all about.

Forensic science is the study of objects that relate to a crime. The objects are evidence and analyzing the evidence is what forensic scientists do. They observe, classify, compare, use numbers, measure, predict, interpret data, and draw inferences. Scientists they are and crimes they solve.

Learn how to be a crime solver by exploring the world of the forensic scientist. Before studying a crime scene we must practice the skills needed in analyzing evidence. After you have completed the skill building assignments, try solving the crime.




Fingerprinting Fingerprinting Powders Powders Solve the Crime
Teeth Impressions Teeth Impressions Foot to Height Foot to Height Resources Resources





What are Fingerprints?

Now that you know the history of fingerprinting, let's take our own. Then, examine and classify them.

Take a magnifying glass and study the patterns on your fingers.

1. What do you notice?
2. Are the patterns the same on each finger?

Fingerprints are impressions that are created by ridges on the skin. When a person touches an object, the perspiration, oils, and amino acids on the skin are transferred to the object, frequently, leaving an impression of the ridge pattern. This is called a fingerprint. No two people have the same fingerprints, not even identical twins.

Create your own set of fingerprints.

Materials List

The materials you will need to take your fingerprints are as follows:

Magnifying Glass Magnifying glass
Pencil Pencil
Tape Transparent tape
Marking Pen Marking pen

Activity Taking a Print

1. Rub a small dark area with a pencil point 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 a clean sheet of white paper. 

5. Label the fingerprint to identify which finger you have printed.

6. Continue the process until you have all ten fingers printed.

Fingerprints may also be taken by pressing one finger at a time into an inkpad and then pressing and rolling each finger onto a sheet of white paper. Be sure to label each print. The prints may smudge if not done carefully. Also be sure clothing is protected.
Some employers require a background check using fingerprints. View an example of a background check form with Adobe Acrobat.


Once the fingerprints are taken and labeled, forensic scientists use a classification system to identify them. The three basic fingerprint patterns are Whorl, Arch, and Loop. There are more complex classification systems that further break down the pattern to plain arches or tented arches. Loops may be radial or ulnar. Whorls also have smaller classifications. 
ActivityStudy your fingerprints and classify them. Then create a database of the patterns in your class and compare them. Use the words below for your fields. Download the Appleworks database template or Microsoft Excel template.
  • Name
  • Birth Date
  • Arch
  • Loop
  • Whorl

Go to this Website for help with your classification:

Fingerprinting: A Lesson on Classification

Solve Murder Mystery









Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.