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Monday, November 3, 2014

Forensics: Hulk Print

As part of the chapter on Fingerprints I have my students do a "Hulk Print."  They make fingerprints on balloons and then blow the balloon up and mark ridge characteristics, then deflate the balloon and keep the balloon in their notebook.

This year I found a big pack (72, 12 inch) of light colored balloons for $8. The big balloons allow students to make multiple prints on one balloon (in case of smudges).


  1. Hi Sandy,
    I love this idea. Just wondering what ink you use to do the fingerprints so that it doesn't smudge?
    Cheers, Ashlee

  2. Ashlee,

    I have used several type of ink. There are some kids who have a hard time getting a clear print, and some who get a clear print first try. I suggest having them try their print on paper first. Sometimes they can get a clearer print with a particular finger, so we try them all on paper first (I usually do a finger print investigation as an introduction to our fingerprint unit). Also it is possible to do about 3 prints on the same balloon, so if they mess up first try they don't need a new balloon, they just need a new spot on the balloon.

    Thanks for reading.

  3. Its like you read my thoughts! You seem to grasp so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few percent to pressure the message home a bit, but other than that, that is excellent blog. A great read. I’ll definitely be back. 60th Balloons

  4. Did you use a special kind of ink?

  5. What type of balloon did you use? I tried this with my students and their prints smeared even after allowing them to dry. I used sharpies for them to write on the balloons and everything smeared once the balloon was deflated. The kids had fun with this activity and I would like to do it again in the future with better results; so any helpful hits would be wonderful!