(US-pa) Program offers alternative to dissecting in classroom
[from Souderton Independent]
Souderton's James Gill doesn't want to cut up frogs or earthworms in
his classroom anymore.
He became one of two life science teachers in the North Penn School
District to embrace cruelty-free dissection alternatives for the
seventh grade last year, and next month both teachers will be rewarded
for that choice.
It was Nancy Giudotti, the seventh grade life science teacher at
Penndale Middle School, who turned Gill on to the free dissection
alternatives through Animalearn in Jenkintown. She discovered the
classroom resource loan service last school year while attending the
Montgomery County Science Conference and immediately called her
coworker to tell him about it.
"It's not the actual animal, but it does serve the basic purpose of
helping students understand anatomy and physiology and comparing one
animal to another," he said.
In Gill's gifted level class of about 15, groups of three students run
the program on five laptops in place of the traditional dissection
lab. Gill has been so pleased with the alternatives that he plans to
use them again next year.
The pair picked a good time to try the service, as this school year is
the 10-year anniversary of Animalearn's loan program, called the
Science Bank. To celebrate, the non-profit organization plans to give
away $1,500 worth of dissection alternatives to Gill and Guidotti this
Animalearn is the education wing of the American Antivivisection
Society, the country's oldest animal rights group, which is also based
in Jenkintown. According to Nicole Green, assistant director of
education at Animalearn, the organization regularly loans resources to
at least 50 classrooms across the country and internationally each
year, but what it really wants is a deeper cruelty-free commitment