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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!

View the 2014-2015 Educator's Guide brochure

A student conducts a streak test as part of the Teacher's Choice program Rocks Rock.ECHO TEACHER'S CHOICE PROGRAM OPTIONS

These programs provide a deeper immersion and clearer connection to state curriculum for students in grades K - 8 and beyond. All ECHO programs are linked to Vermont Standards and are taught by ECHO Education Staff. Our goal is to use the lens of environmental stewardship of the Lake Champlain Basin to assist students as they apply science concepts to the real world.

Signing up for Teacherís Choice Programs

  • Using the chart below, review programs for students in grades K - 8 and then indicate your program choice on the Group Registration form. Teacher's Choice Programs last 45 mins. and cost $75 for up to 25 students per session.
  • See below for program opportunities for high school students and beyond.
  • If requested, ECHO staff will match your program choice to an appropriate ECHO Inquiry Trek to guide student dialogue and support chaperone-led exhibit exploration.
  • For trips of more than 25 students, the group will be divided into sessions and the same program will be repeated so all students can participate. ECHO will assist you with planning for a well-orchestrated experience with ample time for exhibit exploration, ECHO Encounters, lunch, and a visit to the gift shop.
  • We are unable to deliver more than one unique program per visit due to logisitics around set-up. We are able to deliver mulitple iterations of the same program.
Program Title (PDF desc.) Grade Range Duration Description
Wetland Wonders K - 3 45 min Itís a sponge, itís a filter, itís a nurseryÖ itís a wetland! Explore the living and non-living elements of the unique habitat as we build a life size wetland together.
Native American Games K - 3 45 min 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 importance that games played in their lives.
Amphibians All Around K - 3 45 min Explore life cycles, characteristics, and behaviors of amphibians found in the Lake Champlain watershed. Call and hop your way to understanding this unique group of vertebrates, some of the dangers they face and what you can do to help them survive.
Creature Classification K - 3 45 min Introduce your students to the biodiversity of the Lake Champlain Basin vertebrate groups through an exploration of creature characteristics. Learn which of these animals are threatened and endangered and what your students can do to help.
DIY Watershed Model 3 - 6 45 min What is the Lake Champlain watershed? How did it get here? How has it changed over time? Students will design a flowing watershed model to explore the connection between geography, geology and glaciation.
Rock and Roll Geology 3 - 6 45 min Explore 20,000 years of geologic history in the Lake Champlain Basin. Discover the forces that shaped the land we see today and perform rock tests to identify some common local rocks.
Native American Artifact Inquiry 3 - 6 45 min Explore Native American artifacts to illuminate the sophistication of pre-1800's Abenaki culture. Students will learn how to interpret objects in order to better understand traditional ways of life.
Properties of Water
Intro (3-6), Adv (6-8)
3 - 8 45 min The molecular structure of H2O creates the unique properties of water that enable life on earth. Learn about these properties and explore their seasonal effects on Lake Champlain as we explore surface tension, phase change and solvency first hand.
Fins, Form and Function 3 - 6 45 min How does a fish's shape, structure and color reflect its way of life? Students will compare the anatomy of different fish and analyze how an animal's structure relates to its habitat and behavior, and then conduct their own investigation of live fish out in the aquarium exhibits.
Macroinvertebrate Mystery 6 - 8 45 min Biologists use macroinvertebrates as bio indicators of water quality in lakes, stream and ponds. Students will use classification protocols to classify and examine sets of macroinvertebrates in order to uncover the health of local bodies of water.
Aquatic Invaders K - 8 30 min What are invasive species and how do they impact local ecosystems. Students will learn about environmental threats to Lake Champlain, meet a live amphibian invader, and explore invasives' environmental and economic impacts.
Behind the Scenes Tour
K - 8 45 min Discover what it takes to run a state of the art aquarium. Find out how we care for our wild and exotic animal ambassadors. See what goes on behind the staff-only doors! Explore ECHO like you never have before.
10 people max per tour, 2 tour groups max back-to-back.



$6.00 K-12th grade student admission, March-October
$3.00 K-12th grade student admission, November-February
$8.50 College student
FREE! One adult admission for every five students, teachers included
$8.50 Per additional adult
$75.00 Teacher's Choice Program (for up to 25 students)


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.)


Experience all the learning at ECHO with support from ECHOís Volunteer Education Interpreters:

  • Games for learning, crafts, experiments, and hands-on investigations.
  • Daily Animal Feedings and Educational Demonstrations: both related to our ECHO mission and to our changing exhibits.
  • ECHO Treks: Choose either our "paper/pencil" ECHO Treks that guide student exhibit exploration gathering data, estimating, drawing, etc. (we provide the clipboards and pencils!) OR an ECHO Inquiry Trek that guides student exhibit exploration through small group inquiry question prompts and discussions led by your chaperones.


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


Check out our High School and College Programs


  • 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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