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HPU professor and alumnus team up for forensic science workshop

Horizons campersBROWNWOOD – September 14, 2018 – This summer, Dr. Derek L. Smith, associate professor of chemistry at Howard Payne University, and Frank Ritter, 2017 HPU graduate and science teacher at Early Middle School, teamed up again to present a forensic science workshop. The former professor-student duo presented at the 4-H Horizons Camp held at the 4-H State Conference Center at Lake Brownwood.

“Representing big cities and small towns throughout Texas, more than 100 Horizons Camp kids from 10 to 14 years of age selected specific project areas of interest to them and spent six hours per day over five days working on fun and educational project-focused activities,” said David W. Smith, Horizons program director.

As part of the STEM-robotics track, Dr. Smith and Ritter guided 15 students in microscopic investigation of fingerprints and hair samples, whereby students classified fingerprints applied to glass slides and identified the structures present in human hair. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math.

“The opportunity to experience the enthusiasm of the Horizons Camp participants with regards to forensic investigations is a pleasure I shall not soon forget,” said Ritter. “I look forward to the possibility of future collaborations with both them and the HPU science department.”

Dr. Smith and other faculty members in HPU’s School of Science and Mathematics hope that enrichment programs in the community will remember that HPU represents an immediate resource for the academic development of students of all ages.

“We are eager to serve,” he said.

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Cutline: Students participating in the 4-H Horizons Camp led by an HPU faculty member and an alumnus study images under a microscope.

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