Biology Class Is No Cut-Up for US Kids

More pupils duck dissections by doing them virtually
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2008 7:59 PM CDT
A screen shot of a frog dissection image from a virtual dissection program that includes the frog and instructions to the student.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – More biology students are ducking icky frog and fetal pig dissections by doing them on computers, the AP reports. Animal rights activists, thrilled that 14 states let kids skip dissections, are helping get the interactive programs to schools. One West Virginia group donated software to a high school that spends about $1,000 a year on frogs and $40 a pop for hogs.

Dissection programs go by names like Digital Frog, Froguts, and V-Frog. But not all educators are ecstatic: “To actually cut through the tissue, see how the skin layers feel, the textures, the way the organs look inside the body, I think that can't be duplicated,” one Washington teacher said. An animal rights supporter countered that senseless slaughter “desensitizes kids.”