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In this activity, learners examine their fingerprints and learn that they can be categorized by shape, but each fingerprint is unique. Learners collect their fingerprints using pencil and tape and then chart their findings. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity

English, Spanish

Materials List (per student)

  • pencil
  • paper
  • clear tape
  • at least one friend
  • magnifying lens (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • Human Genetics
    • Human Body
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data

Informal Categories

  • Crime Science


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Foreign language versions of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, WGBH Educational Foundation, ©2005

Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0337323
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  • The Weezie Foundation
  • PBS


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