A Click of the Mouse Saves Frogs from Dissection
A Dallas school district makes the leap to hi-tech, humane teaching methods with Digital Frog 2.
PCRM physician John Pippen, M.D., presents a hands-on Digital Frog 2 seminar to school district staff.
Technological advances and growing demands for nonanimal teaching methods have inspired computer programmers to develop exciting, interactive CD-ROM software applications that fully engage and educate today's science students. One such program, the award-winning Digital Frog 2, allows students to "dissect" a computer-generated frog with a digital scalpel. Animations, quizzes, and movies help make biology fun for students. They can investigate the structure and function of anatomy at their own pace and are able to repeat the dissection as many times as needed in order to fully comprehend each lesson without risk of exposure to formaldehyde or the messy distractions and ethical distress of old-fashioned dissections.
Now students in Dallas have access to this amazing technology. PCRM, with generous support from a local philanthropist, donated Digital Frog 2 to the Dallas Independent School District (ISD). PCRM physician John Pippin, M.D., F.A.C.C., director of cardiovascular services at the renowned Cooper Clinic, presented the innovative teaching materials in January to ISD's director of science Narvella West. Immediately following the presentation, Ms. West and her staff attended an extensive, hands-on training seminar that was extended by two hours due to the enthusiasm of the trainees. Their excitement recently prompted Dallas administrators to expand the use of nonanimal teaching methods even further within the school district.
ISD director of science Narvella West and Dr. Pippen
Throughout the United States, many students report that they have avoided advanced biology courses or a career in the sciences due to an early exposure and objection to antiquated dissection labs. But changes are occurring rapidly. In just a few short years, the number of U.S. medical schools that have dropped live animal laboratories from their curricula in favor of hi-tech, humane, and cost-effective teaching methods, has nearly doubled to an overwhelming majority. This radical shift has brought many compassionate students back into medicine and other areas of scientific study.
All elementary and secondary school students should have access to the latest technology in their science curricula. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is to help sponsor computer program donations to your local school.