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UPDATE: Biology Instructors Say Yes To Virtual Dissection


Click thumbnail below to download Kinship Circle's dissection fact sheet, with a loan-alernatives directory for schools. Handy info and options for parents whose kids encounter no-choice dilemmas in science class.

spacer THIS ALERT IS CLOSED. It is archived to use for a letter-writing example or background research.

UPDATE: Teachers Partner With Froguts, A Top Supplier Of Biology Simulations

3/29/12 - The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) and virual-lab leader Froguts have teamed up — a move that steps up use of humane classroom tools across the U.S.

The promising alliance is good news for animals and students in K-12 grades through college. Dead animals often come from shelters that gas animals, like the cats dissected in some 13 Miami-Dade high schools whom Kinship Circle highlighted in its original alert, Ask Miami-Dade Schools To Ban Dissection.

Dissection objectifies animals and shows students that cruelty is no big deal. Indeed, a troubled child who dismembers an "already dead" animal may gain confidence to torture a live one. Florida’s serial cat killer, Tyler Weinman, dissected cats at his Miami-Dade high school before brutally killing 19 companion cats. Teens like Weinman who practice on animals commonly graduate to violent crimes against humans. At the very least, dissection desensitizes students to empathy for other living beings.

The Frogut-NABT partnership gives schools free membership and subscription, including the journal, The American Biology Teacher. This is a huge stride for cruelty-free science education, considering humane tools were once shunned at NABT’s yearly conference and similar events. Nicole Green, Associate Director of AAVS’s education department, Animalearn, believes "change is clearly in motion…with humane science becoming the go-to method for educating students."

Biology Teachers Embrace Virtual Dissection
Froguts Inc and National Association of Biology Teachers

UPDATE: World’s Biggest Science Ed Assoc. Modernizes Animal-Free Stance

In an earlier leap forward, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) revised its stance on classroom dissection to advocate humane options. NSTA now recognizes innovation in nonanimal tools and supports student choice in all classrooms that still dissect. The updated policy also mandates that science teachers be well-informed about animal-free systems to utilize them whenever possible.

NSTA’s new standpoint marks the first U.S. policy-setting body to validate nonanimal techniques as an apt substitute for dissection. Still, according to Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, "the policy stopped short of criticizing dissection."

Schools commonly reference NSTA and NABT principles to develop their science curriculum content.

Dissection Alternatives Victory
Students can learn science without sacrificing compassion

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Dear Sir/Madam:

Miami-Dade public high schools have a chance to teach kids empathy and better science — while serving as an exemplary model for schools nationwide. Florida residents, and beyond, urge you to modernize classroom science with humane and affordable non-animal tools.

Currently, some 13 Miami-Dade high schools dissect cats. Each cat costs $32 to $82 for one-time usage. Dead cats often originate in shelters that gas animals. Death by gassing is illegal in Florida.

Conversely, computerized, 3D dissections can be used multiple times. Ten years ago Broward County eliminated cat dissection because kids had an emotional connection to a family pet," says JP Keener, Broward's Supervisor of Science Education. Studies show what Broward teachers soon discovered: Students who learn via virtual dissection out-perform those who do conventional dissection.

I respectfully ask Miami-Dade's School Board to consider a district-wide ban on dissection. At the very least, please enact a student choice policy with non-animal options. As a leader in humane education, Miami-Dade would project an image of compassion — attractive not only to residents, but also tourists and businesses. On the other hand, continuance of cat dissection in Miami-Dade schools offends potential vacationers and shoppers, especially those with companion animals.

Dissection objectifies animals and shows students that cruelty is no big deal. Indeed, a troubled child who dismembers an "already dead" animal may gain the confidence to torture a live one. Florida's serial cat killer, Tyler Weinman, dissected cats at his Miami-Dade high school before brutally killing 19 companion cats. Teens like Weinman who "practice" on animals commonly graduate to violent crimes against humans.

Columbine shooter Eric Harris smashed mice with a crowbar and set them on fire. Washington D.C. serial killer Lee Boyd Malvo killed stray cats with a slingshot. These juveniles, along with countless more in police case files, share a significant trait: They can mutilate and kill without remorse.

With so many humane alternatives in the feline area alone — Anatomy of the Cat Video/DVD; BioLab Cat; Cat Dissection Library; CatLab; Catworks; Common House Cat Skull; Pregnant Cat Model; Dissection Video Series: Cat; etc. — there is no reason to still dissect cats or other animals.



Free Loan Nonanimal Dissection Tools For Schools
Organizations listed below offer diverse loan alternatives, such as CD-ROMs and virtual dissections. Schools may contact them.

AnimaLearn — The Science Bank
FREE LOAN PROGRAM from American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS)
•  Vast source for dissection alternatives
•  Searchable by species, purpose, age-appropriateness...
   800-729-2287; 215-887-0816;
   801 Old York Road, #204
   Jenkintown, PA 19046

BioLeap Lending Library of Life Science
FREE LOAN PROGRAM from National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS)
•  Info hotline; PDF age-suitable handbooks
•  3-D plastic models, software, videos, color
•  transparencies, etc. for a wide variety of species •  Guidelines for passage of a student choice policy
   800-888-NAVS (6287); 312-427-6065
   53 West Jackson Blvd., Suite 1552
   Chicago, IL 60604

Ethical Science & Education Coalition
FREE LOAN LIBRARY from New England Anti-Vivisection Society (NEAVS)
•  400+ books, 200 videos, models, computer programs.
•  Free catalog: Beyond Dissection with 400+ humane    education alternatives.
•  Access to ESEC's Resource Room for Boston-area
   students; 9am-5pm weekdays
   617-523-6020; 617-367-9143;
   333 Washington St., Suite 850
   Boston, MA 02108-5100

Humane Society of United States (HSUS)
HELP, Humane Education Loan Program
•  Extensive collection of cruelty-free options for
   middle school through university.
•  Comparative studies on dissection, legal info, videos
   301-258-3046; 202-452-1100
   2100 L Street NW
   Washington DC 20037
   Humane Society Youth
   67 Norwich Essex Turnpike
   East Haddam, CT 06423
   ph: 860-434-8666; fax: 860-434-9579

Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine
•  Physician-composed fact sheets
•  Physician commentaries on dissection
•  Aid for schools/students with non-animal alternatives
   5100 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Suite 400
   Washington, D.C. 20016

•  Anatomy in Clay® Learning System
•  Glencoe Interactive Dissections
•  Kidwings
•  ScienceWorks: Frog dissection CD-ROMs starting at
   $59.95 + many other programs.
•  ZeroBio: Dissection videos, photos, slideshows,
   worksheets, quizzes. Videos include the fetal pig, frog,
   and sheep heart.
•  Tangent Scientific's DryLab: Humane interactive
   programs for studying the frog, crayfish, perch, rat, fetal
   pig, or earthworm for about $125. Company also offers
   a variety of virtual human anatomy programs.
•  Online Cat Dissection: Interactive pictures, videos,
   diagrams quizzes.
•  Virtual Cat Dissection
•  The ITG Catlab: Complete virtual dissection cat anatomy
   — simulated dissections of every system, quizzes, and
   over 300 lab-quality images.
•  NeoTek: In-depth virtual laboratory CD-ROMs for the cat
   and frog fetal pig, crayfish, perch, rat, and earthworm,
   from about $85 - $149.
•  Froguts: Virtual frog dissection free online demo.
   Interactive CD-ROM software on virtual dissections of
   frog, fetal pig, squid, starfish, cow eye, and owl pellet
   in highly detailed graphics. Schools can access every
   species on unlimited number of computers for $300
   per year.
•  Digital Frog 2: Award-winning Digital Frog 2 lets students
   perform in-depth "dissection" of a computerized frog with
   digital scalpel. Also: animations, quizzes, videos,
   and information about frog behavior, ecology,
   environmental issues.
•  Study, George Mason University researchers found
   that Digital Frog taught students anatomy lessons
   moreeffectively — in less time — than
   traditional animaldissection.
•  Net Frog: Interactive dissection, complete with images,
   movies, and text.
•  Virtual Frog Dissection Kit: Dissect a frog and use
   Virtual Frog Builder game to put one back together.
   Interactive pages available in seven different languages.
•  Frog Dissection Lab: View photos of the external
   features and internal organs and systems.
•  Operation Frog: Award- winning program with pre-lab
   information, frog dissection lab simulations, post-lab
   materials, and comprehensive teacher's guide with
   worksheets, puzzles, other activities. Prices start at $39.
•  Virtual Pig Dissection (VPD)
•  Virtual Pig Dissection
•  Digestive System of the Rat: Images from muscular and
   digestive systems of the rat.
•  Virtual Mouse Necropsy: Virtual mouse dissection
•  Sheep Brain Dissection Guide
•  Earthworm Dissection
•  Ventura Educational Systems: Humane CD-ROM
   alternatives for a frog, fetal pig, and earthworm.
•  Wellesley College: Online videos of a crayfish, frog, and
   sheep brain dissection.
•  Cornell University: Information and detailed images
   about the morphology and physiology of frogs; links
   to videos and quizzes.
•  State University of New York at Buffalo: In-depth
   information and graphics about a wide variety of species.

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