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WVU Forensics Workshop Holds Biometrics Class

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MORGANTOWN -

West Virginia University held its first of five forensic science workshops for middle and high school students, as part of the WVU Next Generation Forensic Science Initiative, on Saturday.

Forensic science is growing rapidly as an area of study at colleges and universities. The popularity of the discipline is attributed, in large part, to forensic science-related television shows, such as "CSI" and "NCIS."

"Forensic science's popularity is extremely high right now," said Chris Bily, Instructional Coordinator, WVU Forensics. "I attribute almost all of it to television."

The January 25 class covered biometrics, which is the identification of humans by their characteristics and traits. Students received a brief lecture on the background of biometrics, then dove into hands-on experiments. Participants identified hand prints and structures, as well as faces.

"Forensic science is one of those things kids learn best by doing," said Bily. "They want to learn how to do the things they see done on TV. They don't want to be lectured to, and they don't want to read about it in a book."

There are four more classes remaining in the school year. Sign-ups are free, but classes are capped at 25 students. Each course will last 90 minutes.

  • Fingerprints-Feb. 22
  • Footwear Impression Evidence-Mar. 22
  • Firearm Identification-April 26
  • Bloodstain Pattern Analysis-May 24

To register or for more information, contact Bily at Chris.Bily@mail.wvu.edu.