We went to visit our local RCMP Forensic Identification Section this week with another local home learning family. I was immediately disappointed seeing the well lit and ordinary looking space, as if I was expecting to see a facility along the lines of the tv show, CSI. The real life version of those CSI jobs is definitely less glitz and more paperwork.

The kids learned about fingerprints. Where to find them, how to chose the right powder to dust them, dusting, examining and lifting. The favourite choice for dusting prints was without a doubt the magnetic powder. The magnetic brush was at least as interesting as developing the prints. We even had a chance to look at fingerprints fluorescing under a forensic light source. The kids each made and dusted their own prints and had a closer look under the magnify glass to see what pattern each finger had. The most common pattern is an ulnar loop meaning that the loops enter and exit from the little finger side of the fingerprint.

Dusting for printsPowdersWaiting her turnLily squared

Lily's are so clear

What patterns do you see on your own fingers?

The next demonstration was about tool marks and physical evidence. The kids had to match tool marks on a piece of wood to the tools that created the marks. This turned out to be a lot easier than expected.


We had a good tour of the office and saw where the RCMP take close up pictures of evidence and got to look in one of the portable crime scene examination cases.

Examining each part of the kit

The kids were all smiles as they walked out with their new laminated “Super Duper Know It All Ident Specialist” id badges. Made right before their eyes.

Super Duper Know It All Ident Specialist

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9 Responses to CSI

  1. paxye says:

    That looks so cool!!! I wish we could do something like that!!!

  2. elementsofmylife says:

    That is so cool. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lindsay says:

    Wow! That looks pretty awesome. Wonder if there is anything like that around here.

  4. Lynn says:

    How absolutely awesome! What a great experience that would be.

  5. Debbie says:

    Very cool, Annie. What an awesome experience for all of you. I LOVE the fingerprint details. So cool.

  6. denise says:

    Fun! We have a fingerprint kit and mess with it at home, but that is nowhere near as exciting as going to a place and getting a badge! ;)

  7. Annie says:

    You should look, Lindsay. It was supper fun.

    Denise- the badge was a hit, more than I thought it would be. Leif is still sure to carry his around.

    Thanks everyone!

  8. angelina says:

    annie this is so cool. your boy with that mag glass ! x

  9. So cool! I was trying to figure out my fingerprint type after reading this. :)

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