By Macie Whieldon – Special to the Alpine Mountaineer
(Photos: Tracy Marinaro)
Recently Mrs. Marinaro’s sixth-grade science class participated in the first-ever synthetic animal dissection for Rim of the World Unified School District.
The synthetic frogs were a result of two grants that Mrs. Marinaro applied for: the first from The National Antivisection Society and another from the Rim of the World Educational Foundation. Mrs. Marinaro applied for the grants to bring an equitable experience for all students and to bring a humane dissection experience to the classroom where no students would be excluded based on their beliefs about animals. The result was synthetic frogs purchased from Syndaver.
Synthetic frogs are fake frogs that are very realistic in both look and feel. They are also a lot safer than real frogs as they have zero chemicals in them. The frog’s ecosystem is collapsing due to the loss of frogs and it is estimated that over three million frogs are killed yearly just for school dissections alone.
Schools can help frogs and students wary of dissection by using synthetic frogs instead of real frogs. Synthetic frogs are more comfortable for students to dissect because they are not killing animals and they are better for the environment as they are reusable and they are easier to examine.
Two students were interviewed about what they think about the synthetic frogs. Sxith-grader Ireland Grow, who participated in the frog dissection, had this to say: “They were interesting and more ethical. I did not feel so bad dissecting them.” She then mentioned she would not have participated if they were real frogs.
Charlotte Hopper added, “They were very cool. I would do it again, I had a lot of fun.”
This was a great experience for all students involved and proves that dissection shouldn’t be taken out of schools, but perhaps rather replaced with the dissection of realistic synthetic animals.
Macie Wieldon was a student in Ms. Marinaro’s sixth-grade class this past school year.