"Public" DNS servers are public in the sense that they are available for the public to use by the adminstrator of each server. But each DNS server is run by either a government entity (or semi-government, such as a university or a government run corporation) or a private telecom company. And as such, each entity that runs a DNS server will have TOS (terms of service) that dictates the use of that server.
And each - I'd assume - forbids DNS access in for form of high-volume, repeated accesses such as would be used in a DDOS attack test. You should find the administrative domain and website of the DNS server you want to use from public-dns.info and read their TOS to determine their policies about access to their DNS services.
But there are many other factors involved in a DDOS attack test other than the one DNS service: you need to consider each ISP, each upstream provider, each network between the DNS service and the target server, in each country, as a DDOS attack - even a controlled stress test - creates huge amounts of traffic all across each network and as such costs time and money to each. And each services' TOS may very well forbid such use for a DDOS stress test.
You don't think a DDOS test will inflict "damage." It will: "damage" outlined in a TOS will be defined as CPU and network loads that cause slowness and network latency to other customers, time spent by admins to mitigate the issues, and more.
It doesn't matter that you are educational and not malicious.
Don't think that a DNS server administrator, the ISP, upstream providers, etc. can't track you down.
In the US at least, DDOS attacks are illegal: https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1030#a_5