Handprint Analysis


With two weeks until Christmas Break, and with the Trimester Exam scheduled for December 23rd, I have decided to go on a bit of a teaching-tangent. When a real-world opportunity presented itself this past week, I thought it would be interesting to do a short unit on Forensic Science.

On Monday, the school became aware of someone potentially having hacked into Mrs. Delaney’s grade book. Several students’ test scores were changed without her knowledge. While Mrs. Delaney is unsure who logged into her account or how they decoded her username and password, we did find some evidence — disposed of rather lazily, I would say! — in her classroom recycle bin. After observing the suspect’s handwriting, I exposed the paper to crystal iodine and was able to reveal a hand-print and several fingerprints,.

In a real forensics investigation, knowing the suspect’s hand length would be of little use. After all, the FBI doesn’t have a hand-print database. But you could use the suspect’s hand-print to estimate their height, and every adult’s height is printed right on their driver’s license! So we began today by having each student measure their classmates’ hand lengths and heights and graph the data, and then we used that data to learn a little about our suspect. What do we know so far? Whoever left the hand print is just over 5 feet all.

December 9 – Hand Length vs Height (pg321)

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