Be ready for the end of frog dissection. Indigo Prasad, a high school student from Mark Day School in southern California, has introduced a virtual frog dissection program.
Group Animalearn, a Pennsylvania-based American Anti-Vivisection Society division, named the seventh-grade student from a San Rafael private K-8 school the “Humane Student of the Year.” This, after proving that the software offered a better alternative to real animal dissection.
Opting Out of Real Frog Dissection
“I needed something that would help people opt out of the real frog dissection,” Indigo said. “I used 20 test subjects to try two virtual programs. They had to complete the demos of both programs and fill out a form, comparing their experience with the programs to their experiences with the real-frog dissections.”
“The results showed that the virtual frog-dissection programs were more like the real thing.”
“Around 95 percent of the individuals said that they would not dissect a real frog anymore. That showed that people would make different choices if they had background information before starting the dissection.”
When speaking to the media, Indigo added that students could now choose to do the real frog dissection or opt for the virtual dissection, which involves synthetic-frog dissection.
Putting the Cash Prize to Good Use
The teen spent the $1,000 prize from Animalearn to buy the dissection kits from Rescue Critters, which produces training mannikins for students in veterinary schools and SynDaver. The Marin County Office of Education assistant superintendent, Raquel Rose, claimed that science teachers in public schools could use real-frog dissections or virtual dissection kits.
Understanding What Students Want
Survey Shows That Around 86 Percent of Students Hate Real Frog Dissection
If you do not want to dissect a real frog, you are not alone. A recent teen survey showed that around 86 percent of students would want their schools to allow students to choose between actual frog dissection and the available alternatives.
Animalearn has been working hard to give students the right to stay away from animal dissection. Some states have established student choice laws, and some are looking at similar legislation. Nearly 500 non-animal dissection alternatives exist today because of the high demand from people who would want to learn without harming any animal.
Non-Animal Dissection Alternatives
Non-animal dissection alternatives are not only beneficial to the animal, but they are environmentally safe, cost-effective, and educationally effective than the real animal dissections. More educators are coming up with kinder ways of teaching and studying science. They have started the implementation of virtual alternatives in their classrooms.
Deciding Between Real-Frog Dissection and Virtual Dissection
Students, regardless of their education level, may face the ethical dilemma of whether to participate in dissection of real animals or not. Many educators and students are avoiding the traditional dissection methods and going for the virtual versions. Most of them claim that they stay away from dissection because they know that the animals used to suffer before they are killed.
Schools can get earthworms, fetal pigs, frogs, crayfish, and cats easily from slaughterhouses, shelters, the world, or the breeding facilities that sell them to make profits. Most companion animals are a target for animal deals to make money from the animals they steal and sell for use in dissection science projects.
Dissection Alternatives Come With Benefits
You can be against the dissection of frogs and other animals in the classroom. Still, you must provide additional reasons to school administrators and educators to justify using virtual alternatives. When encouraging your university or school to opt for the virtual options, you have to provide them with the benefits of doing that.
Lower School Budgets
Administrators and educators base their curriculum decisions on school budgets. Most of them would be happy to learn that virtual dissection programs are inexpensive. Unlike the animals that have to be purchased each year, virtual dissection programs are bought only once.
Improved Life Science Education
At least 30 studies have shown that virtual programs are educationally effective. The studies proved that students using alternatives enjoy high learning levels. The information should be great news for administrators and educators.
Chemicals used by schools to preserve the dead specimens such as formalin and formaldehyde are carcinogens, respiratory irritants, and environmental pollutants. Irresponsible or careless disposal of the animal remains, or preservatives could contaminate the soil and water or harm the wildlife. Getting animals from the wild reduces their population adversely.
Dissecting animals is expensive, and it hurts the environment and animals. There are better alternatives to animal killing for dissection use, and they all point to computer software and 3D printing. They are more effective in the teaching of biology and anatomy. Furthermore, they offer assessment tools, which match well.