NAVS Shares New 3Rs Curriculum at International Educator Conference

Bullfrog held in hand looks directly at the camera

NAVS and IFER Science Advisor Pam Osenkowski, PhD, presented “Animal Use in Science: Exploring the 3Rs,” NAVS’ new curriculum for high school students to participants of the Educators for Animals conference sponsored by Humane Canada this August. The conference, which was held virtually, brought together educators from all over the globe to explore how animal advocacy can be incorporated into classes and school communities.

This is the second educator conference this year at which NAVS presented highlights of the 3Rs curriculum, and it was a great opportunity to share the resources we are developing with educators who are open-minded about introducing the 3Rs principles—replacement, reduction, and refinement—of animal use and related topics to their classes.

“It is important to make students aware of alternatives to animal use in science and education during the early stages of their education,” Dr. Osenkowski noted. “We want students to know that tools to reduce reliance on animal models already exist, and we want them to know what advantages those tools offer over animal models. If students are interested in pursuing a career in science and medicine, we want them to consider non-animal models in their work and inspire them to create new and innovative approaches, too.”

The curriculum also educates students about current laws and regulations that protect animals used in research and highlights some of their limitations. 

“We really hope our curriculum educates students about how we are using animals in society today,” Dr. Osenkowski continued, “and that it inspires them to become strong animal advocates.”

Dr. Osenkowski was part of a cross-disciplinary team of teachers, subject matter experts and curriculum developers who designed the materials, which are aligned with Next Generation Science and other nationally recognized standards to make it easier for educators to incorporate the learning materials into their lesson plans.