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Identify Your Fingerprints

Source Institutions

    Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

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Identify Your Fingerprints

Learners roll their fingerpads in ink pads, and then press their fingerprints onto balloons. Learners inflate the balloons to produce enlarged versions of their fingerprints. Learners examine their fingerprints to see if they have loop, whorl, or arch patterns.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 14

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Non-toxic ink pad
  • Light-colored balloon (you also can use paper)
  • Magnifying glass (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science
  • Science Festivals Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, ©2012


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