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Below The Surface

Friday, October 1, 2010

Energy Empowerment

There is nothing quite as engaging as watching a young child figure things out and try things for the first time: concentration is high, eyebrows knitted, little fingers busy but deliberate and slow steady breathing. The big payoff is when the child "gets it" and sees and hears his or her success! That is the diamond. That is the 'good stuff'.

Below we have Travis Cook, ECHO's
Information Technology
Coordinator
and ECHO guest
Samantha making a circuit.

Such was the scene recently at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, where dozens upon dozens of children (and parents) explored the use of, creation of and strength of energy.

Our newest exhibit,k CONSERVATION QUESTsm, and the education component POWER PLAY, are currently engaging visitors of all ages and inviting them to explore their use of energy whether it be in their home, in their mode of transportation or in the food choices they make.

The exhibit is great! It is colorful and active with plenty to push, spin, light, pop, bang and stack. Little hands like (and need) to be busy but they also like to be busy doing important things, like learning how much arm-cranking power is needed to light an LED bulb vs a CFL or a incandescent bulb.
ECHO member Freda pedals hard to make a
smoothie while ECHO's Executive Director, Phelan Fretz (with
twirly hat) watches. Kate Villa, Director of Development, holds
down the blender with Maggie observing all the fun.
Also fun to watch were the parents. Whether it was learning to build a circuit themselves or hopping onto a smoothie-making bicycle, they were totally engaged and having fun. And, after all, isn't that part of learning? Having fun? And isn't that one of the greatest gifts you can give to your children ~ letting them see you having fun?

The event I'm referring to was a special Conservation Quest opening event for members yet this reflects very accurately the kind of magic that happens at ECHO every day.

As the new face around here (a little over a month now), I've been able to enjoy a new experience almost every single day. I walk out of the administrative offices and my senses begin to smile with the sights and sounds of laughter and learning. Is anything as sweet?
NEWTon puts a smile on Sara's face,
or is it the other way around?

A small boy getting a circuit to light the light, a mom making her children laugh, a dad encouraging his child to try "one more time" or the smile on a child's face when she finally understands a concept or how something works ~ it is all part of "wonder". Wonder is a fabulous gift that leads to learning and that leads to teaching and the circle keeps growing.

I really like working here. See you soon...

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