CARTERET — The results are in—and the winner of PETA’s “Cut Out Dissection” classroom poster contest is Carteret High School environmental science teacher Usha Ramachandran, who has won copies of the popular interactive Digital Frog 2.5 virtual-dissection software for her classroom.
For PETA’s contest, Ramachandran shared facts about animal dissection with her students—including that some of the 10 million animals killed every year for classroom dissection in the U.S. are purchased from animal shelters—and asked them to design their own “Cut Out Dissection” posters. The students’ contributions included colorful illustrations of frogs and pigs next to the words “You Do Not Have to Contribute to Cruelty” and “My Body Is Just That—Mine!”
“Dissection—I did not like it when I was in school, and I will not make my students do it,” Ramachandran says. “There are other, animal-friendly choices—use virtual dissections. … Now that we have a healthier choice, it is time we moved on.”
Interactive software such as The Digital Frog 2.5—which allows students to “cut” using a digital scalpel and, unlike animals killed for dissection, can be used over and over—has been shown to teach anatomy better than animal dissection. These programs also save time and money and increase student confidence and satisfaction. The National Science Teachers Association endorses the use of modern non-animal methods as replacements for animal dissection.
“PETA’s prize will give Ms. Ramachandran the tools she needs to teach environmental science with the most advanced, humane methods available today,” says PETA Director Justin Goodman. “Countless frogs, pigs, cats, and other animals are still killed for dissection in less progressive classrooms, even though non-animal methods for teaching biology are far superior.”
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