RESET US PTO Volunteers’ Report – 3rd grade fingerprinting

RESET Volunteers describe their fingerprinting experiment:
Hi RESETers,
This is something new we’d like to try out this year to keep everyone updated on the continued success of our outreach.  If reality shows can provide weekly recaps, I think we should be able to for 5 experiments each semester.
Since the beginning of PTOS ReSET three years ago, we have remained committed to the Whittier Educational Campus, a STEM school, in NE DC, and we are continuing that tradition this year.  We had our first experiment of the fall semester this past Tuesday, October 8th, with a new class of third grade students.  There are two 3rd grade classrooms this year, led by Ms. Mann (who we’ve worked with for a few years) and a band new teacher, Ms. Marryshow, with approximately 20 students in each classroom.
Being our first interaction with these students, we spent the first bit introducing ourselves and the USPTO.  While many students had a basic understand of what an invention and an inventor was, this was their first exposure to the idea of intellectual property, how it is protected and why such protection is important.  We followed introductions with the fingerprinting experiment.  The students were successfully able to take their own fingerprints using an oil based pad, put a print on a glass like surface, lift that print using actual fingerprinting powder and a brush, and compare that lifted print to the prints they had already taken and other students’ prints, and conclude their prints were unique.
We also introduced a new teaching tool this year, a large laminated chart listing the elements of the scientific method. Volunteers and students will be filling out this chart for each experiment to reinforce the concepts of scientific and innovative thinking.  In addition, we have been asked by the 3rd grade teachers to try to add some multiplication and measuring into our experiments to assist them with some of the specific skills these students will need by the end of the year.
Finally, I want to applaud our amazing volunteers who made this experiment a success and we look forward to those who were not able to make this experiment to join us for the next exciting opportunity.  The more volunteers we have, the better we’re able to connect with the students and instill these valuable ideas of science and innovation appreciation at such a young age.  Our next experiment will be on solar cars and different types of energy. The dry-run will be Tuesday, October 22 with the experiment to follow the week after on October 29.
Thanks for everyone’s dedicated work,
Pete, Danielle and Robert

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