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Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How long is a typical field trip?
A: 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.
Q: What is the recommended adult-to-child ratio?
A: We recommend one adult chaperone for every five children. (Not necessary for High School students)
Q: Do students or teachers with an ECHO Membership get in free for a field trip?
A: 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.
Q: How does the lunch break work?
A: 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.
Q: Where do buses and cars park? Is there a fee?
A: 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 (see map).
Q: What is the cancellation policy?
A: 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.
Q: How long are the Teacher's Choice programs for a K- 8th grade field trip?
A: K-8th grade Teacher's Choice programs are led by ECHO's Education staff and run 45 minutes each.
Q: What is the typical number of Teacher's Choice programs for a field trip?
A: 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.
Q: Does ECHO have any scavenger hunts or other self-guided activities?
A: Yes. ECHO has several "Treks" or exhibit exploration experiences that you can choose from depending on the focus of your field trip:
1. E-C-H-O Treks are available online for self-guided
groups to download, print and copy prior to arrival. E-C-H-O
Treks are divided into our Ecology, Culture,
Opportunity for stewardship themes in three grade ranges, (grades
2-4, 4-6, and 6-8). They include
fill-in-the-blank, estimation, sketching, matching, and short
answer responses. These are recommended for teachers who wish to
slow down the exploration and have a "take home" tool for
assessing student conceptual learning. Many teachers use this
tool for inclusion in their Science Notebooks.
Inquiry Treks combine with our Teacher's Choice Programs or can be used by self-guided groups on request. Laminated, reusable cards for each of ECHO's exhibit areas provide chaperones with inquiry question prompts that drive discussion within small groups. Possible student answers and maps of the exhibit locations are provided. This format cuts down on paper waste and helps to foster full engagement between students and chaperones.
Q: Can we go to a live animal program?
A: Yes. They are offered at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Q: What is the maximum number of K-8th grade students per program
A: The maximum is 25 students per program.
Q: My students are doing research. Does ECHO have a library
or resource room?
A: 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.
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field trip to ECHO the best experience possible!