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Frog Dissection Goes Digital

Some Schools are Saying Goodbye to Formaldehyde

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Those who had the honor of dissecting a frog in science class probably remember the aroma of formaldehyde (like, forever). In earlier days, we never questioned the act. We just took a dive with the scalpel without concerns for animal rights. Of course, there were always a few kids who got squeamish over the whole ordeal - and they just opened themselves up to ridicule.

Today, it's a bit different, but those frogs (along with fetal pigs and even cats) are still around in science labs - along with the aromatic preservative. While the animal rights activists continue to make noise, school curriculums still require a hands-on approach.

But, there's a new way to teach students with a software program that may be just as effective. It's also proving to be less expensive that using deceased specimens. It's called Digital Frog and it packs a double whammy of being both fun and informative. While meeting with some reluctance from the "wet lab" set, it appears to be economical while addressing the sensibilities of a frog's rights. With the capabilities of Digital Frog, it only makes sense that science labs should also take advantage of the latest technologies.

While I did my time in class with the scalpel and spread-out frog carcass, I have to agree that this type of access is more comprehensive. Information that comes with the program is presented in such a way that teachers don't have to leave the squeamish students behind any more. And those who were once the butt of prolonged teasing don't have to be outed over a dead frog.