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    Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

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Learners press their fingertip onto a clean Plexiglas sheet. The fingerprints are then revealed as learners dust over the print with fingerprint powder. They can lift their prints with clear tape, and press the tape to black paper to have a record of their prints to take home. This activity is part of Crime Scene Chemistry in OMSI's Chemistry Lab.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • two clear Plexiglas sheets (approximately 8”x14”)
  • one sheet black construction paper (same size as Plexiglas)
  • one sheet white construction paper (same size as Plexiglas)
  • dry cloth towel
  • latent fingerprint brush (order information in Materials Prep)
  • spill-proof paint dispenser
  • talc
  • sponge
  • petri dish
  • glue gun
  • squeeze bottle (30 mL)
  • mineral oil (10 mL)
  • clear tape and dispenser (two rolls of tape) (order information in Materials Prep)
  • black and white construction paper (several sheets of each)
  • sealing plastic bags
  • small box
  • black, white, and dual fingerprint powders (for extensions)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Technology
      • Energy and Power
  • Physical Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Atomic Structure

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, ©1997

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation


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