Within the scope of “STEM Discovery Campaign 2021” organized by Scientix, I had the opportunity to apply my learning scenario “Awareness of animals use in science”, which I prepared for The Three Rs and Animal Use in Science MOOC, online with my group of students aged 9-10 between April 19-30, 2021.

With this activity, I aimed that the students, who will shape our future, grasp the place of the animals in the society and develop their critical thinking skills by creating awareness about animal use in science at early ages. I carried out my activity with the Nearpod application to conduct my activity interactively, to increase student participation and to facilitate the exchange of ideas. With the Nearpod application, I aimed students’ self-motivated participation in the process by using many different activities such as pictures, videos, educational games, discussion platforms, questionnaires and evaluations. And I think I succeeded it.

As a warm-up activity, students are asked to make a Wordart design with an animal template that shows the associations that come to mind about the animal concept.

Figure 1. Examples of Wordart designs

Students are asked to think about our relationship with animals according to the question: “What is the place of animals in society?”. With the help of the discussion board, students are asked to indicate where animals are used for what purposes. The answers are discussed in the group.

Figure 2. What is the place of animals in society? discussion board

With a matching game in which students can explore the usage areas of animals in general, it is ensured that they gain awareness about the areas they do not think about or are not aware of. By asking the question, “What are the positive and negative areas where animals are used in society?” a discussion environment is created and students are asked to share their opinions on the discussion board.

Figure 3. What are the positive and negative areas where animals are used in society? discussion board

The students whose opinions are taken watch the videos below respectively and are asked to share their thoughts about each video on the screen that opens at the end of the video. Thus, it is aimed to deepen the students’ thoughts about the usage areas of animals.

After the videos, the students are asked to read the article named “Do zoos still have a place in the world?“. In the article, they are asked to have a debate discussion on the positive and negative aspects of zoos.

In order to understand the ideas about animal use in science, the students who have developed ideas about many areas where animals are used, in other words, animals are utilized, rabbit pictures used in some experiments are shown (pictures suitable for age group are preferred). Students are asked to fill out a questionnaire by asking them to share their opinions on cosmetic products, drugs and vaccines that have been tried on rabbits on the discussion board.

Figure 4. Animal experiments discussion board

Students’ awareness raised by talking about the benefits of animal experiments from the past to the present, about the, alternative technological methods (dissection applications, medical simulators, chip organ …) that we can provide without using animals and 3R principles. In addition to animal experiments, there are also examples that will keep animals away from adverse conditions (Circus holograms, use of VR technology in zoos and aquariums…). At the end of this process, students are asked to design remarkable posters against the use of animals in science.

Figure 5. Examples of posters
Animals are not experimental objects.
They are not experimental objects. It is their right to live.
Animal experiments must cease.
Animal health is 1000 times more important than animal experiments.
Do not use animal in science.

When we come to the end of the event, a general evaluation is made with the game “Time to Climb”. With the prepared questionnaire, the activity is ended by receiving feedback about the change in the feelings and thoughts of the students about the use of animals in science or in different fields. According to the feedback results, a meaningful change in the students’ thoughts indicates that the activity was effective and awareness was created in the students. Mission completed.

Click here “Awareness of animal use in science” learning scenario

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About semihesendemir

Semih ESENDEMİR, a science teacher, was born in 1986 in Eskişehir. He graduated from Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Science and Technology Education Department As a result of the training and projects he developed, ESENDEMİR has gained the chance to represent his country in two important European projects. The information about these projects is as follows: • Represented his country as the only Turkish teacher who succeeded in participating in the International Teacher Program (ITW), organized by CERN (European Nuclear Research Center) between 4-17 August 2019. After a two-week training, he returned to his country as CERN Science Ambassador. • Esendemir was chosen delegates to Turkey with his project "Ionic Bonding Puzzle" at the Science on Stage Festival organized by Turkey in the 3rd National Science Festival and also in Portugal between 31 October 2019 - 03 November 2019, he subsequently represented his country at the Science on Stage Europe Science Festival and Contest. In recent years, he has participated in Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) and Ministry of National Education (MEB) supported teacher training and continues his personal and professional development. In addition, as a Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE), he volunteers coding training in the Habitat association.