Local Catholic School Board Introduces Virtual Dissections


Dissecting a frog or pig in Grade 10 science class will soon be history at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

It has now introduced virtual technology in partnership with the University of Windsor's Canadian Center for Alternatives to Animal Methods.

Students will now use dissection kits of a frog to learn about the anatomy, along with an app.

Students at Villanova High School in LaSalle now have access to a virtual dissection table of an actual cadaver at the University of Windsor, to study the respiratory, digestive and circulatory system.

"Our students today will use faux frogs and technology through augmented and virtual reality, not scalpels to learn about gross and comparative anatomy," says Board Superintendent Dan Fister. 

He says it is about developing a culture of innovation.

"The question is if students can achieve the same learning expectations as traditional methods, with similar or superior results, without harming any animal, then why would we remain shackled to a 100 year educational practice."



Dr. Charu  Chandrasekera at the University of Windsor's Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Methods says it's a win-win for students.

"From a learning perspective, it is not one specimen that you cut into once," she says.  "This is a technology that you can go into over and over again and go back and learn what you want and you can build the model and understand the model, you can discuss it."

It is estimated that six to ten million animals are dissected for educational purposes in the U.S and Canada.

All eight of the board's high schools will receive the faux frog dissection kids. 

Dr. Chandrasekera says this is about 'revolutionizing anatomy education in Canada.'