Virtual Dissection

Unless you have a budding biologist in your home, you may be wondering how important it is for your children to do an actual dissection on an actual formaldehyde-smelling animal, such as a worm, frog, fetal pig, rat, etc. Or, particularly for those more squeamish students, can they gain a similar understanding of anatomy by doing a “virtual” dissection?

Thankfully, for those who would rather just do it virtually, there are now some great apps available and online resources that get you close to the dissection experience without even a whiff of formaldehyde:

Rat and Frog Dissection Apps: We had an opportunity to review the Rat Dissection and Frog Dissection apps by Punflay. My boys are young elementary, and they love these apps, so I can only imagine what an older kid would get from them. Not only can you do the virtual dissection, but there are quizzes, 3D images, videos, and lots more.

This online frog dissection site is very good, with videos and detailed illustrations. This fetal pig dissection site has lots of interesting pictures and explanations of the process as well as quizzes.  If you’re not thoroughly grossed out at this point, you can move on to the Cow Eye Dissection, which is an extremely informative site with videos and instructions on how to dissect your very own cow eye if just watching the video was not exciting enough. (wink, wink)

Of course, if you DO have a student who has a high level of interest in the subject, there are some very reasonably priced dissection kits available, like this Young Scientist’s Animal Dissection Kit sold at Amazon for example. While a virtual dissection might be adequate for some, doing an actual dissection with one’s own hands adds a whole other level of interest.

What has your experience with dissecting been like? Did you go for reality with your kids or opt for the virtual?

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