Q. My 15-year-old is a big animal lover and doesn't want to do the upcoming frog dissection for biology class. How can she persuade the teacher to allow her (and other students who feel the same way) to do a different project?
A. Your daughter should set up a meeting with the teacher to advocate her position—without whining about how gross dissection is. Rather, she should articulate her feelings and then present possible solutions, like learning from a computer simulation. For example, the widely available V-Frog made by Tactus Technologies (tactustech.com) comes in a home version ($40) and one the school could buy (from $495). That way she's learning to promote an issue that's important to her and contributing to her own education in a proactive way.
I also learned that several states have laws requiring schools to give alternative projects.
Originally published in the April 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine.