Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

What Makes Fish so Fishy? featuring Ichthyologist Adela Roa-Varón

A Smithsonian Science How Live Webcast, May 14, 2020, at 11AM and 2PM EDT
A woman holding a fish specimen in front of jars of other fish specimens.
Ichthyologist Adela Roa-Varón holds a specimen in the collections area. Photo courtesy of Adela Roa-Varón.

Program Details

  • May 14, 2020
  • The shows will be on Zoom (not on this page) at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT and are 30 minutes long. We will publish the Zoom link here.
  • The program is free, but registration is requested. We will e-mail the Zoom link to all registrants.
  • Sign Up: 11 a.m. | 2 p.m.


Go behind the scenes at the National Museum of Natural History with ichthyologist Adela Roa-Varón to learn what makes a fish a fish, and practice identifying them yourself. She’ll discuss a group of fish that you might be most familiar with when they are on your plate: codfishes. Adela will help your students practice some of the same science skills she uses every day to make observations, find patterns, and make predictions to identify different species of fish. Throughout the process, students will learn how these different external structures like body shape, fins,  gills, and lateral line function to support fish survival, growth, and reproduction. After putting their science skills to use, students will learn how Adela’s work of identifying and understanding different fish species supports the conservation and management of their fisheries. 

Your students will engage with real-time interactive polls and are invited to submit questions, in Spanish and English, for Adela to respond to throughout the live broadcast.

This webcast supports learning standards in Life Science.

How to Participate

  • We'll publish a Zoom link where the live event will happen on May 14, 2020, at 11 a.m. and then again at 2 p.m. EDT.
  • During the live show, your students will be interacting with the scientist through a chat window in the Zoom software.
  • Still have questions? Want to see your students featured on Science How? Email us at
Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Life Science