Marine Ichthyology


    “Marine Ichthyology was a wonderful course. The webinars were packed with interesting information, and the homework videos and projects were all focused and useful. The instructor was so enthusiastic, and the other kids in the class were really engaged.” ~ Parent Tara D.


    Coming Soon

    Yellow tang fish for Marine Ichthyology course at Athena's Advanced Academy
    InstructorProf. Emma Stein
    Content LevelsGrades 6-7 • Middle School
    Grades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnTBD

    What exactly is a fish? Fishes come in all different shapes and sizes–so much so that it’s difficult to pin down the general idea of a fish. Is there one defining characteristic of all fishes?

    Gills, fins, and scales could characterize fishes, but they could characterize other organisms too. (And wait, why did we just use the word ‘fishes’??)

    Marine Ichthyology will answer these questions and more!

    We will explore the unique and diverse world of fishes through their morphologies, ecology, and taxonomy. Plus, we’ll learn about how different fish swim, sense, and feed. Did you know that many fishes make noises? We’ll learn about those too!

    The world of Marine Ichthyology is more complex than it seems on the surface. Let’s explore it together!

    For a list of scientific skills students will develop, see the What to Expect tab.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • One research forum—in which students will be given the opportunity to research a fish species from the week’s group or consider the week’s topic.
    • One activity forum—in which students can show their creativity or explore the week’s topic through an activity.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • An activity at the end of the webinar.

    Scientific skills students will develop:

    • Awareness of bony and cartilaginous fishes’ general taxonomy and morphology.
    • Researching using general Internet sources.
    • Awareness of several scientific methods of studying fishes. Students will virtually practice several of these methods.
    • General scientific literacy and understanding, including an understanding of current techniques and research.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a few sentences independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • Weekly readings will be online, no textbook required.