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Can you dig it? Forensic anthropology camp proves to be fun & educational

By Chandler Holland
Times-News correspondent 

Caption Campers participate in a dig at the Forensic Anthropology Camp at Appalachian State University in Boone. Chandler Holland / Times-News correspondent

BOONE — In mid-July, 38 teenagers checked into a dorm on the Appalachian State University campus, ready to embark on a new adventure. The school’s Anthropology department holds a Forensic Anthropology camp, and this year I had the pleasure of being able to participate as a camper.
The camp is aimed at high school students, 15 to 18 year olds, and attracts campers from far and wide, but you’ll need a letter of recommendation from one of your science teachers to apply. Registration opens January 1, and the price rises the longer you wait. The camp fills quickly, and there is always a waiting list, so registering early is not only a cost saver, but ensures that you get in the door.
Plan to bring sturdy shoes, work gloves, a good-size spiral notebook, several pencils, and a folder to keep handouts and your research notes organized. The camp offers a thorough introduction to Forensic Anthropology, and you get hands-on experience with real human skeletons, as well as casts of both human and animal bones.
In the brand new Anthropology department lab, you learn the role of a forensic anthropologist. Initial sessions focus on how to identify an individual’s characteristics to figure out clues to much of their life’s story, working solely from their skeleton. You’ll be given your own “case” to figure out when, on the third day, the camp splits into six teams. Each team is given a real human skeleton to study and analyze.
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Leif Eckstrand always ‘happy to help’

By Zoie Nelson
Times-News correspondent 

Leif Eckstrand is Student of the Month for August, 2016. / Photo submitted

As Burlington Christian Academy senior Leif Eckstrand begins to fill out his college applications, he’ll be able to add one more honor onto the already long list of honors achieved while in high school — Times-News Student of the Month.
Mary Thomas Gilbert, who works in the Advancement office of BCA where Eckstrand goes to school, said when she saw a flier about Student of the Month, Eckstrand instantly came to mind.
“He is always gracious and kind and happy to help when you need a hand,” Gilbert said. “Leif is so polite and respectful. He has excellent interpersonal skills and communicates well with adults and peers alike.”
Eckstrand stands out with his impressive scholarly honors. He has been on the A Honor Roll every year he has been in school and currently takes either all Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. He received the award for the highest GPA (grade point average) in Honors Biology, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra and Honors Anatomy, Christian Foundations I and II, Spanish I and II and Honors Chemistry. He also received the award for the highest GPA in Environmental Science. He was also a Junior Ambassador at BCA’s graduation last year, which places him in the top academic percentile of his class.
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Exciting & exhilarating experience: New Orleans has it all – food, culture & fun

By Jakob S. Miller
Times-News correspondent

The scrumptious beignets and café au lait at Café du Monde are a great way to experience some of the food New Orleans has to offer. / Jakob S. Miller, Times-News correspondent

For a city that is still actively recovering from one of the worst natural disasters in recent U.S. history, New Orleans is still full of life and culture. From the infamous nightlife on Bourbon Street to the scrumptious beignets and café au lait of Café du Monde, this city possesses the foundation to make lifelong memories. In many cities, there are a few destinations that define the entire city (i.e., Orlando and Disney World,) however, New Orleans is not one of those places.
There is lots of energy and history on every crack in the road and building corner. There is almost too much history to take in, with lots of exceedingly interesting tidbits found in the spooky yet exhilarating cemetery and several museums. Another fun and affordable way to experience the city is the trolley cars, an amazing way to explore. New Orleans also is no stranger to a good story, whether that be the disgraceful tale of Madame LaLaurie, or Marie Laveau’s popularization of voodoo in the city, which is still present today. The food speaks for itself, taking heavy influence from the French and others, again exploiting the rich blend of cultures. If New Orleans isn’t already on your radar for a great city to visit, you should certainly think about putting it there.

Jakob S. Miller is a rising sophomore at Southern Alamance High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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