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ECHO’s state-of-the art science center and lake aquarium welcomes school groups year round. With our incredible location on the historic Burlington Waterfront, ECHO serves as the perfect destination for your half-day or full-day Burlington adventure, no matter what the season.

ECHO has three options for unforgettable field trips. Decide what best suits your group and then register for a guaranteed great time.

Print/PDF Version of School Groups Brochure

Teacher’s Choice Program
$75 fee per program plus group admission.
Our most popular option. Designed for students in grades K - 12, each 45 min, educator-led program builds off the Vermont State Standards and makes connections to the ecology, culture, history, and opportunities for stewardship in the Lake Champlain Basin.This year’s offerings also include hands-on STEM focused Engineering in Action programs that encourage creativity, invention and problem solving. The Teacher’s Choice Program option includes everything listed in the self-guided option.
National Geographic Film
$3.00/person plus group admission
ECHO’s new theater brings beautiful, informative, and fun movies to you and your students in 2-D and 3-D! These award-winning films explore topics from robots to pandas are sure to inspire.
Self-Guided Group Experience
FREE with group admission

Self-guided tours give your group access to the more than 100 hands-on exhibits, 70 species of live animals, daily demos/activities, student scavenger hunts, and discussion guides. Groups will receive a personalized welcome by ECHO staff.
New at ECHO: Butterflies!
February 11, 2017 through Labor Day 2017 Learn more on our upcoming exhibits page.

Teacher’s Choice Program Descriptions for 2016 - 2017
Teacher’s Choice Program
All available though May 12, 2017
Special Program Offering May 15 - June 16
Engineering in Action: Launch, Fling, Fly
$75 plus group admission
45-minute, ECHO Educator-led programs built off the Vermont Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards connecting students to the ecology, culture, history, and opportunities for stewardship in the Lake Champlain Basin and NEW this year hands-on Engineering Challenge programs. See descriptions below.
Includes everything in the Self-Guided Group Experience.
Cost: $75 for up to 25 students, in addition to group admission.
For larger groups each additional program is $75/session.

Teacher's Choice Program Options

Lake Champlain’s endangered spiny softshell turtles are in trouble and need your help! Students will use the engineering design process to transport turtles to safety as they plan, build, and evaluate solutions to ECHO’s zipline challenge. This program incorporates science, technology, engineering and math concepts into one exciting rescue mission!
Engineering in Action Standard Teaching Requirements

Offered February - June in conjunction with ECHO’s special temporary, live butterfly exhibit. Student will learn about the ecology of Vermont butterflies and practice their engineering design skills as they plan, build and problem solve a solution to an engineering challenge.
Engineering in Action Standard Teaching Requirements

It’s a sponge, it’s a filter, it’s a nursery...it’s a wetland! Explore the living and nonliving elements of this important habitat as we bring wetland to life by evoking its unique sights and sounds.
Wetland Wonders Standard Teaching Requirements

Experience the games played by the indigenous people of the Lake Champlain Basin. Students will get a hands-on lesson on pre-1800’s Native American Culture and the important role games played in their lives.
Native American Games Standard Teaching Requirements

How does a fish’s shape, color and structure reflect its way of life? Students will compare the anatomy of different fish and analyze how the animal’s structure relates to its habitat and behavior, and then conduct their own investigation of live fish here at ECHO.

Students will learn how native biodiversity is being tracked in the Basin and how they can contribute to the work being done as a citizen scientist. Participants will watch an exclusive ECHO movie short and meet one of ECHO’s live animal ambassadors.
Basin Biodiversity Standard Teaching Requirements

Group Admission Pricing
  Thru Sept. 4, 2017
Pre-K through 12th grade student admission to ECHO $8.00
One adult admission to ECHO for every five youths, teachers included Free
Each additional adult admission to ECHO $10.00
College students admission to ECHO $10.00
Contact
For questions about school groups and programs please call Claire Shapiro, Event Coordinator, at 1.802.864.1848 Ext. 124 or cshapiro@echovermont.org
Group Repeat Admission Policy
Visit ECHO with your group once and the initial group of students can return to ECHO and receive FREE unlimited admission up to 6 weeks after the group's initial visit. This new policy is ECHO's way of supporting student projects that deepen learning about Lake Champlain. Special projects, capstone work and more can be a part of this repeat visitation. Some restrictions and contingencies apply as stated below.

  •  Students must be in grades K-12
  •  All repeat group visits MUST BE PRE-BOOKED with ECHO's registrar (important!)
  •  Return visits must take place within 6 weeks of the group's initial visit
  •  Groups MUST RETURN AS A GROUP consisting of the same students and no more than the initial number of chaperones (not as individuals or with families)
  •  Groups requesting special rooms, private meeting, or presentation space are subject to room rental fees (Note: Families/guests attending a student presentation at ECHO pay the posted admission rate.)
School Group FAQs

Typically groups will stay for about 2 and 1/2 hours. During this time they can explore ECHO's exhibits and attend activities and demonstrations taking place throughout the day.

We recommend one adult chaperone for every five children (not necessary for High School students).

No, groups are not part of general admission to ECHO and require more resources from our Staff. Memberships may not be combined with group admission and are not considered part of any group reservation.

Arrangements need to be made in advance if your students need to eat lunch inside of ECHO. We will do whatever we can to accommodate you but we do need this advanced notice. Space is subject to availability. Many groups choose to have a picnic in Waterfront Park weather permitting.

Free bus parking is located on South Champlain Street, Perkins Pier, and Leddy Park. A map of the available spaces will be sent with your reservations. Chaperones may park in ECHO's lot (behind the building) for $5 per car per day (see map).

Groups must cancel at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival time. If you do not call us to cancel and receive confirmation of cancellation from ECHO we will charge a $100 no-show fee.

K-8th grade Teacher's Choice programs are led by ECHO's Education staff and run 45 minutes each.

Groups of up to 25 students select one 45 minute program. Larger groups choose one program and rotate groups of students using a "station rotation" format coupled with an ECHO Inquiry Trek and/or a self guided tour of ECHO exhibits.

Yes. ECHO has several "Treks" or exhibit exploration experiences that you can choose from depending on the focus of your field trip. Visit the Teacher Resources page to learn more and print out worksheets.

Yes. They are offered at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily unless otherwise noted.

The maximum is 25 students per program.

Yes. ECHO is part of the Leahy Center Campus that includes our top floor partner, the Lake Champlain Basin Science Center Resource Room — a staffed library, computer research lab, video archive, and artifact exploration space with maps, charts, photographs and posters. The Resource Room also boasts a unique library of children's fiction and non-fiction books related to the Lake's ecology, culture, history, and "stewardship action" partners in the region.