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BioLEAP Classroom Grant

Applications Closed

The BioLEAP Classroom Grant is an award for educators and school administrators in the United States who are working to replace animal dissection in their classrooms. Grants of up to $1,000 are available to help implement non-animal alternatives to dissection.


The 2022 deadline for submitting applications has passed, please check back in January when submissions will re-open.

2022 BioLEAP Classroom Grant Winners

NAVS is pleased to announce the winners of our first ever BioLEAP Classroom Grant cycle. We selected eight teachers from across the United States who are planning to implement humane education tools into their classrooms during the 2022-2023 school year. These teachers have demonstrated their dedication to replacing or reducing the use of animal dissection in the classroom, and we are honored to help fund their humane efforts.

Caryn Babaian

Postdoc fellow, Temple University

Babaian will use the funding to create her own humane learning tool. Her innovative approach to anatomy education is based on the studies of Leonardo DaVinci, who would meticulously sketch the specimens he observed. She plans to create an online guided course that would allow her to share her arts-based anatomy lessons with students and teachers across the country.


Deborah Chabi

10th-12th grade biology teacher, Dundee Crown High School

Chabi will be using the grant to purchase Scienstructable 3D dissection models and 4D Vision Anatomy models for her classroom. She believes that, given her school curriculum’s increased focus on ethology and animal sentience, it is important that students be given an opportunity to act on the ideas they are being introduced to and opt out of dissection.


Michelle Ellis

10th -11th grade biology and environmental science teacher, Bardstown High

As a vegan and animal lover, Ellis expressed strong moral issues with her school’s dissection policy. The shift to online learning during the pandemic gave her the opportunity to teach virtual dissections, a trend that she hopes to carry over now that in-class teaching has resumed. She plans to use the grant money to purchase Biosphera’s 3D digital dissection software, which includes models for animals like frogs, pigs, and cats.


Tracy Marinaro

6th grade science teacher, Mary Putnam Henck Intermediate,

Marinaro is a dedicated vegan and animal rights activist who strongly believes that animals should never be used in the classroom. In the past, she has refused to teach animal dissections in her classroom, opting to use online dissection alternatives instead. She plans to expand her humane teaching plan by using the grant to purchase synthetic frog models, giving her students hands on experience without the use of animal specimens.


Donna Martin

6th -12th grade science teacher, Watts Public School

Martin’s class currently conducts dissections, but she has noticed that her students do not like the mess, smell, or killing involved in traditional dissections. To get more students involved in dissection and eliminate year-to-year waste, will explore teaching anatomy through virtual reality. She will use the classroom grant to purchase VR headsets and subscriptions to VictoryXR Academy’s virtual dissection packages.


Brooke Stewart

9th-10th grade biology and environmental science teacher, South Central Jr Sr High School

While teaching her evolution and anatomy unit, Stewart found herself observing students who openly questioned the morality of animal dissections and students who were disturbingly desensitized to cutting open dead animals. That experience forced her to confront the fact that it was time to introduce humane alternatives into her classroom. Her plan is to purchase seven Rescue Critter Frog Dissection models to completely replace traditional animal dissections in her lessons.


Annie Tam

Biology teacher, West Covina High School

Tam plans to use the grant to purchase interactive cat dissection models that she can reuse for years to come. Her purchase will both save animal lives and spare her students the distress they experienced during cat dissections. She hopes that by introducing dissection alternatives in her classroom she will help end the normalization of animal cruelty in schools.


Tiara Thomas

9th-11th grade biology teacher, Fortlo Academy

Thomas will use the grant to purchase MERGE Cubes for her classroom. These cubes work in tandem with students’ phones to create augmented reality projections of frog specimens, which the students can manipulate and dissect as many times as they like. Thomas believes this feature makes the tool superior to traditional dissection, which can only be conducted once. She hopes that the MERGE cubes will allow her students to conduct safe dissections free of harmful chemicals while also instilling an appreciation for living things and their intricate forms.