UHWO forensic anthropology students assist high schoolers as part of FBI Adopt-a-School program

Students taking notes from scene

Students investigating and recording their findings at a fictitious crime scene.

UH West Oʻahu students in Dr. Jennifer Byrnes forensic anthropology classes assisted with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Adopt-a-School Program Practical Observation and Vocational Experience (PROVE) Project in fall 2014 and spring 2015.

The PROVE Project is a project-based learning experience within Waipahu High School’s Academy of Law and Justice Administration where 11th and 12th grade students interested in forensics, criminology and law enforcement participate in field training exercises as criminal investigators. The project pits these students against students from another high school in an effort to recreate the same situations faced by actual law enforcement officials. To do this, the PROVE Project spans multiple crime scenes with the help of UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Forensic Anthropology Jennifer Byrnes and UHWO forensic anthropology students.

UH West Oʻahu students helped to “bury the body” by digging holes for the skeletons, and positioning and clothing the bodies used for the crime scene on Oct. 31, 2014. Students in the certificate of applied anthropology program then assisted with the “dig up a body” event on April 24, 2015 by advising and digging with the high school students on site. Dr. Jennifer Byrnes discussed methods in forensic anthropology recovery with the high school students prior to the dig and assisted with the planning of the location and equipment with FBI Special Agent Arnold Laanui. While on campus, the high school students also attended a presentation by UH West Oʻahu Professor of Justice Administration Mike Hallstone about UH West Oʻahu’s justice administration program and a campus tour and general admissions presentation by the UH West Oʻahu Admissions team as part of the University’s ongoing outreach efforts.

Photo of forensic anthropology students

From left to right: UH West Oʻahu forensic anthropology students Samantha Torres, Kalani Carreira, Earl Ramsey and UHWO Assistant Professor of Forensic Anthropology Jennifer Byrnes



Image courtesy of Mellissa Lochman