Forensics 101: High Schoolers Get an In-Depth Look
October 21, 2014
Albemarle County Schools prepares students for careers in health and medicine across a broad range.
"I really think that we put a lot of energy and excitement into their curriculum," said Katina Dudley, a science teacher at Monticello High School.
"I really like that unlike in other classes, sometimes like in math I'm like oh my gosh, I'm never going to use this," said sophomore student, Morgan Hall. "In HSMA I'm sitting here learning about the body system and the skeletal system and I'm like, one day when I become a surgeon, I'm going to need to know what this bone is."
Everything from EMT's and technicians to nurses, physicians and research scientists.
"Essentially the class that I teach, we go through the body systems and then each time we go through a body system we really just create a number of different careers that you would see in that particular system," said Dudley.
And even those who want to get involved with forensic anthropology shows them some of the skills they need to become a forensic scientist.
"We'll do a little bit of bone introduction each day and then we'll do an investigation or case study on bones," said Dudley. "In teaching them how to survey bones, they try to answer a number of questions about findings."
Questions that range from what condition the bones where in when found, where they tampered with or was there any flesh left behind.
"What we try to introduce from my perspective, not being a forensic scientist I try to tell them if someone comes up on a scene you're really looking to determine what's present, how many bones are present, where were the bones found , what's the soil like around the bones then what happened, what put this skeleton here what's the cause of this," said Dudley.
"It's the real life application, you know it's the actual, well it's not a real bone, it's a cast of a real bone and it's touching and being able to get familiar and learn all these cool things about it," said Hall. "It's kind of crazy that you can determine so many thing's about a person's lifestyle by looking at their teeth."
The Health and Medical Sciences Academy has these students reading college level research, they're also getting to go in and participate in surgeries, and their nursing students are doing rounds with fourth year UVa medical students.
"I really think that everything we've taught them up to their junior year is really becoming more and more applicable to their futures," said Dudley.
Any student that lives in Albemarle County can apply to the Health and Medical Sciences Academy, or any academy at other high schools in the county. Currently the program has over 100 students participating.
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