Forensic Science Meets the American Museum of Natural History

Among the new field trips inspired by the coming of the new Hajjar STEM Center is one that members of the Forensic Science class took to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City this spring. While the entire sophomore class goes to the museum each fall for the Integrated Biology and Chemistry II course, the Forensic Science class paid a visit to the museum’s Sackler Educational Laboratory for Comparative Genomics and Human Origins for the first time. On April 14, the 16 juniors and seniors attended a morning 90-minute lab called Forensic Anthropology: Whose Body Was Left Behind, focusing on the guiding question: “How do scientists use human remains to figure out someone’s identity?”

With access to a real human skeleton, along with microscopes and gel electrophoresis, students learned how to determine the approximate age, sex, and height of persons by examining skeletal remains. Based on students’ positive reviews, this particular lab (and the field trip component) will likely be included in Forensics classes going forward.


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