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ECHO Education programs model inquiry-based teaching by facilitating student activities, prompting investigations, and encouraging intentional exhibit exploration. And, of course, theyíre lots of fun!

A student conducts a streak test as part of the Teacher's Choice program Rocks Rock.ECHOís State of the art green aquarium and science center 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.

3 Easy Steps to Booking your ECHO Adventure Today

  1. Choose between our 3 field trip options.
  2. Check out our changing exhibit schedule
  3. and select a date.
  4. Book your trip by completing our online reservation form or by calling 802.864-1848 x127.

Print/Download Educator's Guide

Field Trip Option 1: Self-Guided Group Experience

Self-guided tours give your group access to the more than 100 hands-on exhibits and 70 species of animal ambassadors found at ECHO, daily public demonstrations, student scavenger hunts, and our custom chaperone guides to support adults as they escort students through exhibits while facilitating discussions. ECHO Treks guide student exhibit exploration gathering data, estimating, drawing, etc. (we provide the clipboards and pencils!). Groups will receive a personalized welcome to the center by ECHO staff.

Field Trip Option 2: Teacherís Choice Program (additional $75 fee plus admission)

This is our most popular option: 45-minute ECHO educator-led programs to enhance your experience and bring your curriculum to life. Designed for students in grades K-6, each program builds off the Vermont State Standards and makes connections to ecology, culture, history, and opportunities for stewardship in the Lake Champlain Basin (and ECHO's mission). Groups choosing this option also receive materials provided for the self-guided option.

Field Trip Option 3: National Geographic Film (additional $3.00/person plus admission)

Coming in October
We at ECHO are so excited about the opening of our all-new National Geographic Theater, the first of its kind in Vermont with exclusive access to 2- and 3-D film showings. Add this to your visit and give students a chance to see beautiful, educational films they can't see anywhere else in the area. Choose your film and receive all the self-guided tour materials, too.


$6.50 K-12th grade student admission to ECHO
FREE One adult admission to ECHO for every five youth, teachers included
$8.50 Each additional adult admission to ECHOt
$8.50 College students admission to ECHO
$3.00 Students and Adult National Geographic Film admission in addition to admission to ECHO

Teacherís Choice Program Descriptions

Program Title (PDF desc.) Grade Range Description
Wetland Wonders K - 3 Itís a sponge, itís a filter, itís a nursery...itís a wetland! Explore the living and nonliving elements of this important habitat ae we bring wetland to life by evoking its unique sights and sounds.
Native American Games K - 3 Experience the games played by the indigenous people of the Lake Champlain Basin. Students will get a hands-on lesson on pre-1800ís Native American Culture and the important role games played in their lives.
Amphibians All Around K - 3 Call and hop your way to understanding the characteristics, behaviors, and life cycles of amphibians found in the Lake Champlain Basin. Learn about the challenges they face and how we can help them survive.
Rock and Roll Geology 3 - 6 Explore 20,000 years of geologic history in the Lake Champlain Basin. Students will discover the forces that shaped the land we see today and then identify local rock types using a hands-on geology lab.
Native American Artifact Inquiry 3 - 6 Explore Native American artifacts to illuminate the sophistication of pre-1800ís Abenaki life. Students will learn how to interpret historical objects in order to better understand traditional ways of life.
Fins, Form and Function 3 - 6 How does a fishís shape, color and structure reflect its way of life? Students will compare the anatomy of different fish and analyze how the animalís structure relates to its habitat and behavior, and then conduct their own investigation of live fish here at ECHO.
Basin Biodiversity 7+ 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 ECHOís live animal ambassadors.



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.)


Register for your ECHO visit and Teacher's Choice Program


Find detailed information about how to make your field trip to ECHO smooth and successful, including a Group Leader Checklist, a Chaperone Information Sheet and details on bus arrival routes and check-in.


Answers to FAQs and Contact Us form


  • Dive deeper into Lake Champlain at the Resource Room, located on the top floor of ECHO.
  • An excellent teacher and student resource for Lake and watershed curriculum or project planning across disciplines using website links, maps, charts, pamphlets and multimedia.
  • A quiet space for small groups, preschool stories, games, and puzzles.

Opportunities for Personal Growth at ECHO

  • Get involved through internships, work-study, service learning, or as a volunteer.
  • Link field work, lab work, or research results to informal learning in a science center.

©2015 Leahy Center for Lake Champlain - ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center - One College St. - Burlington VT 05401 - 802.864.1848 - 1.877.324.6386
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