A Skeleton Tells Its Own Story: Forensic Anthropological Analysis for the Science Classroom Laboratory
Naples, Virginia L.
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The techniques of forensic anthropology and pathology can provide new information to increase student interest in studying the structural details of the human skeleton. We present a simplified methodology for assessing skeletal ethnicity, sex, age, and stature. An inexpensive method has been devised for constructing an osteometric board to allow students to measure long bones accurately. The effects of aging and the influence of lifestyle alterations on skeletal elements are presented along with the prediction of their effects on the living individual. This laboratory is intended to acquaint students with the process of collecting and analyzing data, interpreting scientific results, and assessing the accuracy of their conclusions. Gathering and analyzing their own data sets gives students gives students a better understanding of the scientific method and an increased ability to translate this understanding to other scientific disciplines.