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3D Lessons in Compassion

The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill that would allow students to opt out of dissections during biology class. It was spurred by a vegetarian animal loving student who rejected the notion on moral grounds that it was acceptable to study life systems by cutting up a dead animal. The student herself cited the cruelties of the meat industry which provides the fetal pigs for dissection from the pregnant pigs they slaughter for meat.

Thirteen states currently have policies that allow students to use alternatives to dissection. I anticipate there will be many more that follow suit because there is an increasing awareness of the moral implications of dissection and animal testing.

These animals have not placed a donor sticker on a drivers license nor have they died of natural causes. Biological supply facilities purchase them from factory farms, fur farms, animal shelters, breeders, and dealers who often pick up strays or comb the newspapers for "free to a good home" ads. These companies then embalm the animals and supply them to buyers like schools, universities and businesses for use in experiments.

Why am I discussing this issue? Well, I do believe that we desensitize our children to the sanctity of all life when we require them to participate in this cruel activity for which we reward them with a passing grade. Additionally, I salute the young conscientious objectors who are bringing awareness to this issue and who are trying to right the wrongs in their world.

I am indeed in constant touch with my inner activist, but my strong emotions are often eclipsed by my need to find practical solutions to such dilemmas. I have experienced a virtual frog dissection demo using a DLP 3D projector and Classroom 3’s frog dissection software. Those who claim the virtual experience's end results are not as effective as slicing open a froggy friend have more than likely never put on the 3D glasses. In the 21st Century Classroom, 3D projectors will provide an experience that will do more than engage students. With the right software--it will enrapture them. The basic technology seen in Avatar is now available in affordable 3D classroom projectors that cost far less than the disposal and repurchase of dead animals every school year. I'd never have imagined that a 3D projector's most compelling lesson could be one of compassion.