Animal Use in Science: Exploring the 3Rs

Module 6

Environmental impact of the 3Rs

Competency: Develop arguments based on the environmental impacts of animal use in research and the ways implementing the 3Rs can help the environment

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the environmental effects of using animals in a lab setting
  • Categorize the environmental harms of animal dissection
  • Describe how animals escaped from labs pose potential threats as invasive species
  • Identify the potential environmental consequences of using genetically modified species in the lab

Assessment: Written Scenario Response – Argument Against Animal Testing

  • Written response clearly identifies a position
  • Written response identifies and explains at least two environmental concerns about the proposed animal testing
  • Written response includes a recommendation based on one of the 3Rs
  • Written response accurately identifies the recommendation as Replacement, Reduction or Refinement
  • Written response identifies how applying one of the 3Rs would have a positive environmental impact
Download Materials

Lesson plan, worksheets, and activities (PDF, 1.3 MB)


Intro to the Environmental Impact of Animal Testing
(PowerPoint, 29.5 MB)

Guided Class Discussion
(PowerPoint, 7.4 MB

Linked External Standards:


HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.

HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

HS-LS4-5. Evaluate the evidence supporting claims that changes in environmental conditions may result in (1) increases in the number of individuals of some species, (2) the emergence of new species over time, and (3) the extinction of other species.


W.9-10.1.  Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.