Humane Educator and Student Honored

Every year, Animalearn honors a humane student and educator who are successfully promoting humane science education. Animalearn's 2016 Humane Educator of the Year is science professor Brian Ogle.

Teaching at Beacon College in Florida, Brian has eliminated animal dissections from his curriculum and instead incorporates innovative humane alternatives. In an issue of the AV Magazine, he shared why he believes it's necessary to move away from the harmful use of animals in science and that students and teachers can benefit from such a shift.

"It can be difficult for educators to move beyond traditional, and often times stereotyped, practices in life science education," said Brian. "However, this award helps to demonstrate and bring awareness that you can provide students with authentic learning experiences while increasing learning gains and confidence in science."

The 2016 Humane Student of the Year is Jenna Ward, a 13-year-old student from Massachusetts. Jenna has participated in a number of science fairs, with her most recent project aiming to help end frog dissections at her school. She also started a petition to urge her school to use digital dissections instead of animals, and has received the support of her principal and several science teachers.

"I hope that because of this award I can convince my school to go completely virtual with frog dissections," said Jenna. "Frogs are really important to the ecosystem. They are bioindicators, telling us when things are going wrong. It is important for us to listen to them and to take care of them."

"We are proud to highlight both Brian and Jenna as our Humane Educator and Humane Student of the Year," said Director of Animalearn Nicole Green. "It is rewarding to see change-makers like Brian and Jenna shed light on animal use in the classroom by demonstrating that humane science alternatives are better options for the animals, ourselves, and the planet."

As part of the award, both honorees receive $1,000 worth of dissection alternatives that are donated to their schools.