05 Demonstration Show

05 Demonstration Show 

This event is limited to the first 18 entries 


2020 Topic: The Chemical Enhancement of Latent Fingerprints 



Latent prints are those invisible fingerprints left behind on a surface by an individual at a crime scene.  These prints can be developed with chemical solutions (or powders) in order to visualize the prints at a crime scene or in the crime laboratory. Various chemicals have had a long history of use in latent fingerprint development. 


Perform a live 3-minute demonstration for a general high school audience that safely demonstrates the concepts of a chemical development of your choice of a latent fingerprint. Emphasis must be on the understanding of the chemistry involved in the reaction. The demonstration should also include the chemical reaction(s) involved and a description of how the forensic science practitioner or CSI can easily use this chemistry either at the crime scene or in the crime laboratory.  (No Kits Allowed) 

The event must be completed by a team of 2-3 students. The demonstration will be carried out in a lecture hall that seats up to 150 students. Chemical reactions must be pre-approved; please submit a first choice fingerprint development  reaction and procedure and a back-up reaction and procedure (see section below). Each team will be allowed exactly 3-minutes to complete the presentation. Points will be deducted for going overtime. Be sure to fully understand the basic chemical principles that are involved with the demonstration to prepare for challenging questions from the judges on Event Day. Prepare a written report that describes the demonstration procedure. See Written Report Guidelines below. The demonstration area includes a fume hood with cameras so the judges can see what you are doing.  The hood has running water but no gas line.  There is also an open demonstration table equipped with a sink and water.  Electric outlets are available.  Appropriate fire extinguishers will be provided.  You have the option to use either unless NJIT’s safety officer determines a hood is necessary.   A projection device with a computer will be available.  If you wish to display something it must be sent to the NJCO prior to the event so it can be pre-loaded onto the computer.   All necessary materials must be brought with you to NJIT. No equipment or chemicals will be provided at the site. All materials must be cleaned up properly by the team after the demonstration. Students must observe the ACS Guidelines for Safe Demonstrations. 


It is recommended that students submit two potential reactions and corresponding procedures to Dr. Miriam Gulotta for pre-approval before starting significant work on their project, but no later than March 30, 2020. Procedures must include chemical lists, methods, materials, and approximate quantities. Teams which do not meet this deadline for pre-approval submission may be disqualified. 
NJ Chemistry Olympics 

Demonstrators and coaches must observe the ACS Guidelines for Safe Demonstrations. It is important that competitors be properly supervised during the development and practice sessions that lead up to Event Day. Any demonstration deemed unsafe by the judges based on the written paper write-up will not be allowed. The main objective of the demonstration should be to correctly teach an audience the chemical principles involved. The demonstration should have a clear goal and be creative in presentation. The demonstration is limited to 3:00 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime. 


The written report (including diagrams, charts, etc.) may not exceed four pages - 12 pt., single-spaced; do not include a cover page. 
Written Report Includes: 
1. List of educational objectives that describe the goals of the presentation. 2. Include relevance to real-world applications. 3. Complete instructions and procedures for the safe method of doing the demonstration. 4. List of chemicals, supplies and other materials. 5. Pertinent diagrams for set-ups. 6. Chemical reactions. 7. Proper disposal of products. 8. List of relevant references. 

Clearly identify the school, Team A or Team B, if applicable, coach(es), and names of students on top of the first page. All sources of information must be identified clearly, both written sources and a list of people who provided assistance. The report must be submitted to Turnitin following the instructions under Research Guidelines. No paper copies should be submitted. Bring a paper copy of your report on the day of the event. 



Safety 10%; Learning objective/paper 10%; Effectiveness of the demonstration in addressing the learning objective, 20%; Knowledge of subject 30%; Presentation & style 30% .


On Event Day you will complete your demonstration presentation in a lecture hall. Competitors should practice and prepare for the following: 

The demonstration is limited to 3 minutes. Points will be deducted for going overtime. A 3-minute question and answer period moderated by the head judge during which your understanding of the topic and chemical principles involved in the demonstration will be tested and verified. 


A projection device attached to an NJIT computer will be provided. Materials must be pre-loaded onto the computer before event day.  No gas jets are available for use. Typically teams bring in small (camp-stove sized) propane sources of fuel if a fuel source is necessary. A fume hood is available. 
New Jersey Institute of Technology University Heights Newark, New Jersey 07102