Make Your Own Fingerprint Powder

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Fingerprint powder is an extremely important tool used by forensic specialists and crime scene investigators all over the world. It is generally made up of very fine powders in a variety of colors but can also be very expensive. How about making your own powder and letting your child test his CSI skills?

What You Need:

  • Cornstarch powder
  • Measuring cups
  • Candle
  • Porcelain or heat resistant dish
  • Knife
  • Small bowl
  • Small paint brush

What You Do:

  1. Measure out ¼ cup of cornstarch and pour it in the bowl.
  2. Light a candle in a safe area.
  3. Hold the porcelain dish over the candle allowing the flame to touch the bottom of the dish.
  4. You will notice black soot building up on the dish.
  5. Scrape the soot from the bottom of the dish using a knife.
  6. Continue scraping until you have a ¼ cup of soot. This might take a bit of time!
  7. Place the soot in the bowl and mix with the starch.
Now it’s time to investigate! Ask your child to run her hands through her hair or across her forehead. Have your child place some juicy fingerprints on a clear drinking glass. Using the small paintbrush, apply a small amount of fingerprint powder to the fingerprints on the glass using a twirling motion with the brush. You should now see detail in the fingerprints starting to appear.

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