Ever wonder how scientists are able to identify human bones? The students of the Karabots Junior Fellows Program need not wonder anymore. As part of their year-long study of forensic science, the Fellows recently learned about forensic anthropology (the science of identifying human skeletal remains) with resident expert Anna Dhody. Anna, the Curator for the Mütter Museum and a trained forensic anthropologist (astute followers of everything involving the Mütter Museum may recognize her from her regular appearances on the web series: Guess What’s on the Curator’s Desk), took the Fellows through the science of identifying human remains while telling stories of her experience as an expert in criminal cases involving human (or what appear at first glance to be human) bones.
Following their meeting with Anna, the students held a session with class regular and Mütter Museum Educator Marcy Engleman. Marcy demonstrated how to identify the race, sex, and age of human bones, encouraging them to draw their own conclusions based on observations made on replicas of the real thing.
If you are a teacher and interested in your students taking part in the Bone Detectives lesson, you can schedule a session as part of a field trip to the Museum. Happy bone detecting!