Transforming Classroom Education: A Success Story from a BioLEAP Grant Recipient

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When we talk about replacing traditional animal dissection with humane alternatives, some may wonder: do these alternatives really work? The answer is a resounding yes, and the best proof comes from educators in the field. One such educator, Michelle Ellis, received a BioLEAP grant from NAVS that allowed her to implement humane dissection alternatives in her classroom with great success.

What Did the Grant Enable?

Ellis used the grant to purchase 12 re-useable model frogs for dissection. She initially planned to buy virtual dissection tools, but after so much time spent distance learning, her students craved hands-on activities, so physical frog models perfectly fit their needs.


Ellis’ educational goals were not only met, but exceeded. She assessed learning outcomes through a lab sheet and a post-test and received overwhelmingly positive results. “They loved it,” she said, describing her students’ reactions to using the humane dissection tools.

The Experience

What surprised her about implementing the solution? “Nothing, it was actually easier than real dissection,” Ellis said. The students appreciated the hands-on experience, without the fuss, mess, or smell that comes with traditional dissection. Parents, too, were thrilled with this educational method, noting the lack of chemicals, smells, and needless waste of animal lives.

Why This Matters

Stories like these underscore the real-world applicability and success of humane alternatives in education. They aren’t just a one-time fix but a re-usable, cost-effective, and ethically superior solution to flawed traditional methods. More importantly, these stories demonstrate that humane impact that your support makes possible.

Looking Forward

Michelle Ellis is just one of dozens of teachers we’ve supported through the BioLEAP Classroom Grant, and she is eager to continue her journey in ethical science education.. “I am teaching zoology next year, so this grant would be beyond helpful for my classes,” she enthused.

This is more than just a single success story; it’s an example of the positive ripple effect that comes from implementing humane educational solutions. With every BioLEAP grant, we’re not just saving animal lives; we’re enriching human lives, too. And it’s all thanks to you, our supporters. Together, we’re transforming classroom education.

Want to help more teachers like Michelle Ellis transform their classrooms? Support our BioLEAP program. Every donation makes a difference in shaping a more humane and effective educational experience.

Read Michelle’s complete survey below.

How did you use the funds from the NAVS grant?

12 model frogs that are able to be dissected and re-used.

In what ways was this consistent with or different from what you set out to do when you applied for the classroom grant?

I planned to buy virtual dissection tools, but my students have gotten tired of doing so many activities online. They really miss the hands on activities. When I found these frogs, they were perfect.

Were your goals for student learning met? Describe how you measured learning outcomes.

Yes my goals for student learning were exceeded. I measured learning through a lab sheet and then a post test.

Please describe your students’ reactions to using the solutions you implemented.

They loved it. I will not dissect real animals in my classroom, so this gave them the opportunity to dissect.

What, if anything, surprised you about implementing the solution?

Nothing, it was actually easier than real dissection.

What advice would you have for a colleague who is interested in implementing the same or a similar solution?

This solution is perfect. These models are re-useable, there are no chemicals, no smells. It was easy to monitor and worked perfectly.

How did your students react to using the humane solution?

They loved it. It was hands on, no fuss, no mess, no smell, etc.

What feedback did you receive from students or their parents about the use of the humane solution?

They were very pleased. Students got to have the dissection experience, there were no smells, no chemicals, and no animals were harmed.

Would you consider applying for the BioLEAP Classroom Grant again?

Yes, I will apply again. I am teaching zoology next year, so this grant would be beyond helpful for my classes.