Chemical Fingerprinting

Did you know that the patterns on the tips of your fingers are unique? It’s true! Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two people have the same set of fingerprints. In this experiment, you will be using a chemical reaction to generate your own set of blood-red prints.

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42 Responses to “Chemical Fingerprinting”
  1. Aurora says:

    I know – originally it was taken off the market because it was dyeing all the other recyclables and making them un-recyclable. And then they fixed the problem and put it back on the market, but teachers had found ways around it during that 5 year absence so it’s not selling quite as well as it used to (they learned how to make their own using turmeric). I can send you a few sheets, free of charge for being a member. Send me a private email with your mailing address and make a note of our conversation and what you need, and my team will get it to you!

    Here’s the link on making it yourself if you’re interested:

  2. asierra0328 says:

    Hi Aurora, is there any way we can get a few sheets of the golden rod paper? I will definitely pay. πŸ˜€ It’s very difficult to find.

  3. stevejanann says:

    Can you tell me where I can purchase only a few sheets of goldenrod paper? I can only find them in quantities of 100 for about $30.00.

  4. Aurora says:

    That’s not right! I’ll fix the written instructions so they match the (correct) video.

  5. Julia Raudenbush says:

    In the video you pour water into a cup and add baking soda-the written directions say to pour baking soda on a paper towel and add water. The ratio of water to baking soda in each method will be very different. The first video method creates a watery mixture and the second creates a paste.

  6. Julia Raudenbush says:

    We used baking soda and water with the method described in the written directions and the directions on the video. Neither method produced any red coloration at all on the goldenrod paper you sent us. The paper just got wet.

  7. Aurora says:

    The written directions should be about the same as the video instructions. What did you notice that was different? (I am also wondering if I sent you the right paper – we have four shades of yellow here, and only one will chemically react!)

  8. Aurora says:

    What chemical did you use with the water?

  9. Aurora says:

    Oops – thanks for your eagle eye! We’ll get that fixed.

  10. Julia Raudenbush says:

    For editing purposes…The answer to #4 is printed on the student work sheet.

  11. Julia Raudenbush says:

    Hi Aurora, this is Alex. I was wondering about the difference between the video and the written directions. Is one way better than the other? Neither seems to be working…

  12. Julia Raudenbush says:

    Hi Aurora. We are using the sheets of paper you sent us. The paper is just getting wet and not turning color at all. Do you have any ideas why? My son got a piece of yellow cardstock and had the same result.

  13. Aurora says:

    I’ve sent you a private email.

  14. Deb Swartzendruber says:

    Hi Aurora,
    Checking to see where we could purchase the goldenrod paper?! Thanks so much!

  15. Aurora says:

    No not easily, but you can do a similar experiment using cobalt. Look at “Cobalt Colors” experiment!

  16. Andrea Albury says:

    Can you make goldenrod paper?

  17. Aurora says:

    Try it! πŸ™‚ (with parent supervision, of course, since you are using ammonia. And wear GLOVES – don’t touch the ammonia with your bare hands.)

  18. Tami Nelson says:

    what color would it be if you used ammonia.

  19. Aurora says:

    Well, if you don’t tell anyone… me! I am happy to send you a few sheets. We aren’t really set up for this, so I can do this for you as my gift to you. Send me an email with your mailing address and we’ll get it out to you right away. πŸ™‚

  20. Lisa McKeirnan says:

    Hi Aurora,

    Where can we find a good source for the goldenrod paper?

    Thank you!

  21. Aurora says:

    And no, turmeric will have a different reaction (refer to the Matrix for details).

  22. Aurora says:

    Send me a private email and I’ll forward it to my team. πŸ™‚ We’re not really set up to do this, but we’ll make an exception just for you as a gift. πŸ™‚

  23. Kim Rairdon says:

    If I make the paper with Turmeric will it have the same reaction? I read that I can spray the paper with 2 parts water and 1 part ammonia, then do the dip the fingers in equal parts baking soda/water mix…..

    Having a hard time coming across the paper as well…

  24. Aurora says:

    I’ll have my team connect with you right away!

  25. Suzy McCracken says:

    As with the others, I too am in need of Goldenrod paper. Where can this be purchased? I would be happy to pay for the paper and shipping if you have some.

  26. Aurora says:

    I’ll send it to you free of charge. Send me an email with the mailing address you’d like me to ship it to, and I’ll get you a couple of pieces so you don’t have to worry. This is my way of saying thanks for the great feedback on the program, and letting others know about it!

  27. Michelle Raine says:

    Hi Aurora – can I purchase goldenrod paper from you? I have found some online, but worried I will buy the wrong type of paper…thanks!

  28. Aurora says:

    Oops! We’ll get that fixed. Sorry about that!

  29. Terri Cleary says:

    Editing: The answer to the last question – What kind of reaction do we see when the red fingerprints show up on the paper? – is given on the page – (a chemical reaction)

  30. Aurora says:

    Hi Terri,

    Thanks… and you’re right! I’ll look into a good resource and post it when I find one. The one we use only sells it by the case of 5,000 sheets, so at the moment I am offering to send you a few in exchange for writing a review of the e-Science program using the guidelines here.

  31. Terri Cleary says:

    Aurora – we, too, need a source for the “right” goldenrod paper. Are there any links since I expect you’ll be getting more requests and your staff isn’t a fulfillment center. πŸ˜‰

  32. Aurora says:

    Not to worry! We’ve got not only golden rod paper, but the *right* kind of golden rod paper (not all goldenrod works!) I’d be happy to send you some. I’ll have my team contact you for mailing info.

  33. Darlene Young says:

    Hi Aurora , my son has this experiment next on his list. We were wondering where we would find goldenrod paper? Is there a brand name that I could look up? The only science shop in our area didn’t even know what I was talking about when I phoned to see if they carried it.

  34. Aurora says:

    Here’s a fingerprint guide you might like!

  35. BethT says:

    Aurora, in #3 you state “Compare your prints to the basic patterns in the guide.”
    Where is this “guide”?

  36. Natalee Humphries says:

    what is the online gide called?

  37. Aurora says:

    Cool! Can you send me a link so we can share it with the rest of the kids? It sounds like a lot of fun!

  38. Stephanie Martin says:

    I found a guide online so the kids can identify the different patterns in their fingerprints. Thank you for getting back to me.

  39. Aurora says:

    Whoops – sorry about that… thanks for asking again. I am not sure about a ‘guide’… was there something you needed clarification on, like how to do a particular part of the experiment? Or how to extend the experiment somehow?

  40. Stephanie Martin says:

    You spoke of a fingerprint guide in the goldenrod experiment. Where do we find that? I know this is a duplicate question, but I didn’t get a response before. Thank you.

  41. Stephanie Martin says:

    Aurora, you spoke of a fingerprint guide in the goldenrod experiment. Where do we find that?

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