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Students Collaborate with UT Forensic Anthropology

On November 21, 4:30-6:30 p.m., more than a dozen high school students from Knox County Schools will present research they conducted in collaboration with professors and advanced graduate students in the University of Tennessee Department of Anthropology and Forensic Anthropology Center. The research presentations are the culmination of a two-week University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center-Knox County Schools High School Internship Program and will be presented at an open house event for invited guests to be held at the William M. Bass Forensic Anthropology Building on Medical Center Way (behind University of Tennessee Medical Center).
 
This internship presented students opportunities to apply theory they are learning in the classroom in real-world settings and provided unique pathways for career exploration. During the internship, which took place Nov. 10-21, the students studied forensic anthropology, osteology, trauma analysis and estimating age and sex from skeletal remains and observed a DNA extraction in the center’s molecular DNA lab. Students’ research topics that will be presented on November 21 include estimating sex using the pelvis and the cranium; the effect of surgical implants or replacements on stature; assessing sex from burned remains; ageing techniques; and others.
 
Students who participated in the internship were nominated by their teachers as being exemplary in the fields of anatomy, physiology and biology, and successful nominees were selected by University of Tennessee representatives in a competitive application process. The students represent Bearden High School, Carter High School, Farragut High School, Halls High School, Hardin Valley Academy, Karns High School, L&N STEM Academy, Powell High School, South- Doyle High School and West High School.
 
For more than 30 years, the Forensic Anthropology Center, founded by Dr. William Bass, has garnered an international reputation for research on human decomposition and modern human variation. At the core of the program is the dynamic body-donation program that currently comprises more than 1,400 individuals in the Bass Collection and more than 3,400 registered future donors. The mission of the Forensic Anthropology Center is to achieve excellence in research, training and service in forensic anthropology and related fields. For more information about the internship program, contact Dr. Giovanna Vidoli, Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.