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.
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.
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.
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.
- Video about guide dogs that help visually impaired people
- A video about Laika, the first tellurian to be sent into space and used in space studies
- Video about diabetic dogs who saved the lives of diabetics by feeling their blood sugar dropped
- And finally, the video about Ralph, the experimental rabbit used in the experiments of cosmetic products.
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.
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.
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.
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