ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160401-11
Be Healthy as a Fish Educational Program at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, Poland
Gos, D., Szymanska, E., Bialek-Wyrzykowska, U., Wiweger, M., Kuznicki, J.
Date: 2016
Source: Zebrafish   13(4): 266-71 (Other)
Registered Authors: Kuznicki, Jacek, Wiweger, Malgorzata
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Biology/education*
  • Child
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Poland
  • Schools
  • Science/education*
  • Students
  • Zebrafish*
PubMed: 27028803 Full text @ Zebrafish
The purpose of the Be Healthy as a Fish educational program that is organized by the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IIMCB) in Warsaw, Poland, is to educate children about the ways in which zebrafish can be used as a model organism to help scientists understand the way the human body works. We introduce Be Healthy as a Fish workshops to children in fourth to sixth grades of primary school (9-11 years old), together with two kinds of materials under the same title: a book and a movie. We focus on the field of biology in a way that complements the children's classroom curriculum and encourages them to broaden their interests in biology in the future. The Be Healthy as a Fish educational program was inaugurated in 2014 at the Warsaw Science Festival. As of October 31, 2015, 526 primary school students participated in 27 workshops. Approximately 2000 people have received the book and nearly 1700 people have watched the movie. Be Healthy as a Fish: Origin of the Title There is a popular saying in Poland that someone is "healthy as a fish" meaning that one enjoys good health. Does this imply that fish are really that healthy? Obviously, some fish may not be healthy. Just like other animals and humans, they can and do get sick. However, this common and deceptive impression of "healthy fish" results from the fact that people hardly ever have an opportunity to observe a fish that is sick. Why does our educational program have such a possibly misleading title that may not always be true? We took advantage of this provocative title and commonly known expression and assigned to it a completely new meaning: fish can get sick, but they are important for human health. Notably, this catchy sentence intrinsically combines two keywords-health and fish-which, in our opinion, makes it a good title for a successful educational program.