ECHO welcomes schools year-round
ECHO has three options for unforgettable field trips. Decide what best suits your group and then register for a guaranteed great time.
Update Summer 2020: please email Keely O’Brien, Group Sales & Membership Coordinator to check availability.
ECHO Classroom Memberships Teachers have the option to purchase an ECHO Classroom Membership that will give unlimited admission to ECHO for classroom field trips throughout the school year. Learn more.
Field Trip Option 1: 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. Click here for our daily schedule.
Field Trip Option 2: Teacher’s Choice Program: $75 fee per program 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 joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature and care of Lake Champlain including hands-on Engineering Challenge programs. Includes everything in the Self-Guided Group Experience. See descriptions below. For larger groups each additional program is $75/session.
Field Trip Option 3: Northfield Savings Bank 3D Theater: $3/person plus group admission
ECHO’s 3D theater brings beautiful, informative, and fun movies to you and your students! These award-winning, educational films explore topics from robots to pandas are sure to inspire.
Teacher’s Choice Program Options
(September 3, 2019 – May 22, 2020)
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.
Students 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.
Amphibians emerging in the spring have more than a cold snap to worry about. Students will learn about annual spring amphibian migrations and the challenges they face as they use the engineering design process to solve an engineering
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.
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.
Rock and Roll Geology Standard Teaching Requirements
Explore Native American artifacts to illuminate the sophistication of pre-1800’s Abenaki life. Students will learn how to interpret historical objects in order to better understand traditional ways of life.
Native American Artifact Inquiry Standard Teaching Requirements
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
Busy School Groups Season Featured Teacher’s Choice Program
(May 26 – Jun 12, 2020)
Climate change is bringing new and unexpected challenges to our communities. Students will explore the probable drivers and potential impacts of climate change. They will then use the Engineering Design Process to prototype solutions to a climate inspired design challenge.
Group Admission Pricing
|Pre-K through 12th grade student admission to ECHO||$7|
|One adult admission to ECHO for every five youths, teachers included||Free|
|Each additional adult admission to ECHO||$9|
|College students admission to ECHO||$9|
Preparing for Your Visit
We are delighted that you have chosen ECHO as your field trip destination. Please read through the following information to ensure a smooth and successful trip. Be sure to share important information with chaperones and students and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.
Before Your Visit
- Decide on several possible dates for your visit. Plan on 2 hours for your group to see ECHO and 2 1/2 to 3 hours if you are planning on eating lunch and/or attending a Teacher Choice Program in addition to exhibit exploration time.
- Fill out and submit the online Group Registration Form. (Update Summer 2020: please email Keely O’Brien, Group Sales & Membership Coordinator to check availability.)
- Secure chaperones for the field trip. Chaperones play an important role in your group’s visit. In return for their help, ECHO provides complimentary admission for one chaperone for every five students. Teachers count towards your chaperone ratio.
- Print out the online Chaperone Information Sheet, fill it out and make a copy for each chaperone.
- Make sure the chaperones are aware of their responsibilities, the schedule and your expectations for student behavior while at ECHO.
- Review with your students expectations for behavior while at ECHO.
- Nametags with first names and the name of your school are helpful for our staff.
- Groups must be paid for in ONE payment (students and chaperones together). Payment must be received upon arrival.
- ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”. Purchase orders will incur a $5 processing fee.
- The admission desk will ask for a final head count at the time of your visit.
- Individuals paying separately will be charged our regular admission rate and will not be counted as part of your group.
- Sorry, no other discounts apply for individuals counted as part of your group admission.
- Most groups bring their own lunch and picnic on ECHO’s Dealer.com Terrace or in Waterfront Park. We will provide a place for you to store your lunches.
- ECHO does not guarantee indoor seating for lunch. Please plan on eating outside or on the bus. Sometimes indoor space for lunch can be arranged, but it is dependent on ECHO’s daily event schedule.
- There is an independently run café inside ECHO. Seating in the cafe is reserved for those purchasing items at the cafe. It is a great place to pick up coffee or a chaperone lunch.
- Students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone while in the museum gift shop.
- Please do not wait until the end of your visit to have your group visit the shop at once. Instead, have small chaperoned groups of students rotate through the shop throughout your visit.
- If you do not want your students visiting the shop, be sure to make this clear to the students and the chaperones before your visit.
- If you have questions or need to make changes to your reservation please contact our registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 864-1848 ext. 124. If you have questions or need to change visit details within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival, please contact ECHO’s front desk at (802) 864-1848 ext. 100.
- Trips may be canceled and rescheduled due to weather conditions without penalty. If you are concerned about weather, please call the day before your trip. For non-weather related cancellations, schools must contact us at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival time to re-schedule, or pay a $100 no-show fee.
During Your Visit
- Busses CANNOT drive into the circle in front of ECHO. The City of Burlington restricts traffic in the circle to city buses only. Your buses will instead unload in front of the Waterfront Information Booth in the city parking lot near ECHO. A map will be sent with your field trip confirmation.
- Please Bus & Chaperone Parking Map with your bus driver.
- Buses can park for free on South Champlain Street or near Perkins Pier (see map).
- Chaperones coming in private cars or schools traveling by private car pay $5.00 per car to park. To park in our lot, head toward the Lake on College Street, cross the railroad track, take a left onto our driveway, and park in our lot behind ECHO. Pay the $5 fee inside ECHO, not at the Kiosk
- One teacher should go to ECHO’s admission desk to check in while students remain on the bus until an ECHO staff member comes to greet them.
- The admission desk will ask for a final head count and ONE payment for all students and chaperones in your group. ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”. Purchase orders will incur a $5 processing fee.
- An ECHO Educator or Guest Services Representative will greet your group on the bus.
- If you are having a Teacher Choice Program your entire group will be led into ECHO’s classroom for a brief orientation and review of the day’s schedule before programming begins.
- If your group is going on a self-guided tour of the exhibits, you will receive a free ECHO Orientation before you are sent out into the exhibits.
- Education Staff, museum volunteers and interns will be on hand during your visit. They will be facilitating table top activities, presenting scheduled programs and will be available to talk to your students. Please encourage your students to ask questions.
- There are ECHO Treks (scavenger hunts) available on our website for you to print off and use as a tool to help direct student exploration. Feel free to edit them to best fit your curriculum needs.
- You may choose to have a Teacher Choice program as part of your ECHO Field Trip. Programs last 45 minutes and cost $75 per session for up to 25 students.
- If you have more than 25 students in your group, we will schedule multiple program sessions during your visit. We will review the rotation schedule with the group during the orientation at the start of your visit. If you would like to discuss the schedule prior to your visit call ECHO Educator Elizabeth Nuckols at (802) 864-1848 ext 137.
- Have fun and ask questions!
- Treat the exhibits and the other visitors with respect.
- Walk in and around building.
- Please no food in the exhibit spaces.
- You are visiting the home of over 70 different kinds of live animals. Be respectful by using indoor voices and not tapping on the glass of their enclosures.
ECHO staff may take photos of your group interacting with exhibits or participating in a program. These pictures are sometimes used for our website or other promotional materials. If you do not want your group to be photographed, please inform a member of our staff.
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 (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.