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Live fish at school influences learning, study says.

Hosting live fish in the classroom helps students learn and improves their attitudes about science, according to a study published in a recent issue of the journal, PLOS Biology.

The study included roughly 20,000 Baltimore students in kindergarten through 12th grade who watched zebrafish develop from single cells to swimming larvae with beating hearts and distinct colors over a week, reported ScienceDaily. More specifically, the article stated:

* Elementary students learn about human and fish anatomy, habitats, cells and DNA.

* Middle school students identify observable traits of zebrafish offspring.

* High school students learn how scientists determine the genetic makeup of parents by studying their offspring.

Throughout that study period, students in all grades showed significant learning gains and also reacted more positively to statements such as "I know what it's like to be a scientist," reported HealthDay News in the Montana Standard.

The researchers suggested immersive experiences like these can help engage students in science, technology, engineering and math.

"They're so focused on the experiments, it doesn't feel like school," said study co-author Steven Farber to HealthDay. Farber is an adjunct associate professor in the department of biology and School of Education at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

Sources:, 11/10/16;, 11/10/16;, 11/10/16

Resources for Adding a Classroom Fish

Fish in the classroom can be a dynamic learning experience for kids. Here are a couple of useful links to help make it a reality for your class:

* If you're interested in adding a classroom fish, grants are available to teachers through Pets in the Classroom. For more information, visit

* For more information on setting up a classroom aquarium, visit Reefs to Rainforests Media at

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Title Annotation:Tools for Schools
Publication:Curriculum Review
Date:Jan 1, 2017
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