Scope on Safety: Dissection—Don’t cut out safetyby: Ken Roy

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In June 2005, the NSTA Board of Directors adopted a revised position statement, Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom. Under the “Dissection” section, NSTA calls for more research to determine the effectiveness of animal dissection activities and alternatives, and the extent to which these activities should be integrated into the science curriculum. Until research indicates the effectiveness of alternatives to dissection, many teachers will continue including dissections in their classrooms. Those that do need to make sure they are addressing related safety issues to ensure a successful learning experience. This month’s Scope on Safety features NSTA’s safety recommendations for safe and ethical dissection practices.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri May 18, 2012 12:25 PM

This article describes the revised statement by NSTA on the Responsible Use of Live Animals and Dissection in the Science Classroom. This article describes the rules of safe dissection. The article also contains a list of safety procedures proposed by the Regents Exam Prep Center. In conclusion this article addresses the safe procedures for using preservatives. If you are going to do these kinds of activities this article is a must read. An alternative to this is virtual dissections which may not be as exciting to kids but is healthier to humans and less damaging to the particular species being examined.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:31 PM

It is essential for any teacher who uses dissections in their classrooms for follow safety protocol. Recommendations are given for proper specimen handling, conducting dissections, use of personal protective equipment, and proper specimen handling and disposal,

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Sat Oct 30, 2010 4:15 PM

This article gives a nice overview of safety procedures necessary for dissections. It also includes a list of alternatives to traditional dissection and explains the various chemicals used to preserve specimens and the hazards associated with each. I would recommend reading this prior to including dissections in your program.

Patricia McGinnis  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia McGinnis (Pottstown, PA)

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