See science fair projects with fingerprints and genetics to determine whether fingerprint patterns are passed down within families. Explore this creative 4th grade project.
4th Grade – Age 9
The purpose of this project is to find out if fingerprint patterns are inherited like eye color, hair color and other genetic characteristics.
HYPOTHESIS: I don’t believe fingerprint patterns are inherited.
White/unlined 3X5 index cards
Matte finish transparent tape – ¾ inch
Pencils and sharpener
I made fingerprint cards to hold the prints of each person tested.
I labeled the card with the 5 finger names and “right” (for right hand).
I took fingerprints from all 5 fingers of the right hand from 7 families of four (two parents, two children).
I took all the fingerprints using the same method.
I used a magnifying glass to examine each fingerprint and classify it as:
A = Arch
LL = Left Loop
RL = Right Loop
W = Whorl
Next, I charted each family’s patterns. I compared the mother’s fingerprints to each child’s and recorded the number of matches out of ten possible matches. Then I compared the father’s fingerprints to each child’s and recorded those matches out of ten possible matches. I did the same thing for a random sample of families. The random sample consisted of 7 groups of unrelated people. Each group had a mother, father and two children.
The families had 66 matches out of a possible 140 matches or 47%. The random sample had 74 matches out of 140 matches or 53%.
The random sample actually had more matches than the families. This would support my hypothesis that fingerprint patterns are not hereditary.
If I did science fair projects with fingerprints and genetics again I would look at the same family over many generations to see if any pattern repeated.