Showing a Bag of Bones to Junior High Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todayyyy I am going to East Junior High in good old Brockton, Massachusetts to show some kids some FA fun stuff. I’ve got it all planned out. I think it would be cool to say what I planned then see how it actually turns out…

Well aside from this elaboration of bony preparation, I am also excited to say I am doing my first nonacademic-based forensic anthropology presentation! What a better way to start than with Junior High kids?! I hope I can go to Stoughton High School too sometime soon because they have a CSI Program! I read about it in some online Stoughton newspaper. Janet Sullivan, my high school basketball and softball coach is involved with it. She’s also in charge of the science department, I think. Mr. Colantonio, my old high school English teacher is the principal now. So, I wrote them an email asking if they want to do some FA crime scene or lab simulation stuff. I hope soooo..

Then, once I get over my bitter feelings about BU and my thesis I will go to Bridgewater State and present my thesis work (hosted by the Anthropology Club). I already talked to the Chairperson and FA professor there, so it’s more about figuring out a date to go and pursue it. There is also a chance that I do a quick Powerpoint presentation at AAFS because they have a BYOS (Bring Your Own Slides) program. Maybe that will get me motivated. I would like to present my stuff at the conference for real, actually I would prefer having a poster but I have to wait to apply for 2013.

So, first I am going to go into the school and ask the students what they think forensic anthropology is. I don’t want to be standing at the front of the room with a Powerpoint, so I won’t, I’ll be in the mix with the students. Then I’ll make sure they know that it’s the study of human bones at the crime scene. I might say something about the Body Farm at UT because it’s interesting, but what I want to make clear to them is that there is a reason for this…to find a missing person (to make a positive ID). How do you do that? I will explain to them that when a FA gets a bone, they first have to determine whether it is human or not. So I am going to show them a bone and be like, “what do you think? Is this a human bone?”, and see what they say. It’s going to be a cow femur (graciously donated to my primitive bone collection by Keri Kravetz). Then I’ll show them a couple of other non human bones and they’ll get to touch them and be interactive. Then I’ll tell them what a biological profile is; determining the sex, age, ancestry, and stature of the individual. I have plenty of examples and even a human skull (not real of course)! I think they’ll like that.

At the end, I want to ask them how they would cover it up, or try to get rid of the bones. I expect someone will say burning the remains, someone might say throwing them in the ocean, but my goal is to tell them that there’s really no way to get rid of the bones and there’s always evidence that points the police back to the murderer. So, don’t commit crimes. We will find you.

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