ECHO Treks

ECHO Treks are designed to maximize students’ learning on their field trip. They are available by science discipline and grade level. Each one is organized around one or two NGSS crosscutting concepts. Teachers use a slideshow to introduce their students to ECHO exhibits before their classroom visit. Students can discuss phenomena with their peers and make predictions about how to produce desired results at several exhibits. At ECHO, students can use a worksheet to test out their designs or hypotheses. They can also explore exhibits more deeply with the help of additional challenge questions. After their visit, students will process their learning as a group and draw conclusions. Teachers may choose to continue to explore these concepts using additional resources provided.

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.

Download the group leader checklist. 

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.
  • 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 can be made in full upon arrival. Please notify the registrar if you will not be able to pay in full at the time of your visit. If this is the case, we will email a final copy of your invoice to your trip leader or another contact if that information is provided.
  • ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”. 
  • 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.
  • Please note we do not have a dedicated lunch space.
  • Weather permitting, most groups bring their own lunch and picnic on ECHO’s Terrace or in Waterfront Park. We will provide a place for you to store your lunches.
  • When the weather is inclement, ECHO may be able to arrange indoor space for lunch. We will do our best to accommodate your group depending on our daily event schedule.

Please check with registrar for hours and fall availability.

  • If you group is interested in visiting Champ’s Legendary Creemee stand, please visit us in groups of 10 people or less. If you are a group over 20 people, please restrict all orders to one size and one topping or no toppings.
  • We can accept payment after all orders have been made or individual payments if your group is less than 20 people. Group payments must be made at the time of visiting the creemee stand. We cannot invoice you for your ice cream.
  • Our flavors are vanilla, chocolate, maple, and one changing flavor. Dairy free options are available but variable.
  • 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 museum gift 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 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”.
  • 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 several ECHO Treks available on our website to introduce students to ECHO’s exhibits before your visit and support their exploration while at ECHO. They are linked on the Teacher Resources page.
  • You may choose to have a Teacher Choice program as part of your ECHO Field Trip. Programs last 50 minutes and cost $80 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 School Programs Manager Liz Greenberg at (802) 864-1848 ext 133 or email at
  • 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.

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