Science,Fish,Zebrafish,Johns Hopkins University,Baltimore,Principal investigator,Carnegie Institution for Science,Embryo

When fish come to school, kids get hooked on science

November 10, 2016
in Kids

Students at Baltimore's Thomas Jefferson Elementary Middle School observe and take notes on their zebrafish. Credit: David Schmelick and Deirdre Hammer/JHU A program that brings live fish into classrooms to teach the fundamentals of biology not only helps students learn, but improves their attitudes about science, a new study finds. The study of nearly 20,000 K-12 students, who raised zebrafish from embryos over the course of a week, found that kids at all grade levels showed significant learning gains. They also responded more positively to statements such as "I know what it's like to be a scientist." The results, to be published by the journal PLOS Biology, suggest that an immersive experience with a living creature can be a particularly successful strategy to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and math. Co-author Steven A. Farber is a biologist who is a principal investigator at the Carnegie Institution for Science and a Johns Hopkins University adjunct associate professor in the Department of Biology and in the School of Education. He founded BioEYES in 2002 with co-author Jamie R. Shuda, director of life science education at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. Intended to reach low-income schools with students who are primarily from underrepresented minorities, BioEYES is now a partnership between the Carnegie Institution and Johns Hopkins that has worked with 100,000 students in Baltimore, Philadelphia and other cities. During the course, students collect zebrafish embryos and watch...

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