Thursday, July 25, 2013

Greetings once again from the Hamden Public Library! This week I did a program for teens about forensic anthropology. Thank you to Professors Ullinger and Giblin for their assistance - I borrowed bones from the lab and also borrowed some ideas from the program we did with 7th graders last year.

First we did quiz-show about the myths vs. realities of forensic anthropology. Then the fun with bones began!
I scrambled up the bones and had the students work together to put him in anatomical position

The awesome teens - they got really into it!
The teens filled in a worksheet to learn some of the names of the bones.
I found some great books in the library.
So I displayed them at the program in case the students wanted to continue their studies at home.

I had 10 students in total - they were all very smart & sweet. After assembling the skeleton, we talked about how to determine the sex of a skeleton. I brought in pictures and drawings of various skeletons and had the students figure out the sex. We talked a little bit about aging, although I didn't go into too much detail because I didn't feel as confident about my grasp of the material. To conclude, I showed them some casts of pathology specimens, including a broken tibia, osteoarthritis, and the syphilis skull.

The students seemed to have a great time, and so did I! Hopefully I inspired some future anthropologists.

Yesterday, the whole fellowship went to Hartford to visit the Capitol building. To clarify, I am working at the library through a Presidential Public Service Fellowship. There are 11 students in the fellowship and we are each placed in different town offices, so my assignment is the library. Anyway, we went to Hartford and got to meet several government leaders. You can read more about it here (and admire my sullen face in the picture - I was exhausted at this point).

My favorite room was the Senate Chamber, which was beautiful. The Senate isn't in session right now, but the senators' names are in front of each of their places. There are 36 senators and, looking around the room, only a few of them are women. After a full day of meeting almost exclusively with old white men, this was discouraging to see. However, we did meet with the Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman. I asked her about her experiences working as a woman in the government. She described just one unfortunate incident, but other than that she luckily has not had too many unpleasant experiences. I wanted to further discuss women's issues, but she is very busy and had to get to another appointment.

Day to day, the library is a nice place to work. Right now we have three caterpillars in cocoons, so hopefully soon we'll have butterflies!
To conclude this post, here's a picture of my cat.

Until next time, anthro nerds.


  1. This is terrific Lucy! I'd love to know what the "myths" and "facts" were for the forensic AN quiz, and what the students got correct. What a great project, and it is wonderful you asked Lt. Governor Wyman such important questions. Keep at it.
    Prof. Haldane

  2. This looks like a great event! It looks like everyone was having fun. -- Jaime