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Below The Surface

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Day in the Life: E-Team

What does it take to be an E-Teamer? Behind the scenes here at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, the E-Team is much more than meets the eye. While you may have met some of them at the Sea Tank, or while making buttons or frog masks, underneath that green E-Team shirt lays more than just a teenager. Having the pleasure to work with them, I can tell you that these are not average kids. Dedicating 6 hours a week to ECHO takes more than bribery to get a teenager to volunteer, it takes passion and understanding of a greater good, which is why these kids are more than average; they are environmental all-stars.

But what is it that they actually do here? We give them the space to explore their own interests and to challenge themselves. Every shift starts in the E-Team lounge where we meet to talk about what we think would be the most fun and entertaining way to teach and engage guests. Doesn’t narrow it down too much does it? No worries, because there is no limit to what the E-Team is capable of doing. They pick from an overwhelming variety of activities, from enlightening guests on the elusive and mysterious nature of the Moose, to sending frog masks to orphans in Korea. Every day the E-Team is offered the opportunity to learn a new topic by teaching it to others. “It’s a real opportunity to be able to learn with others and help others understand, it’s a great experience,” says Henry Sadler a sophomore from Vermont Common Schools. For example, how many kids can tell you the difference between a Plastron and a Carapace on a turtle? (See picture)

The E-Team is something we here at ECHO are very proud of. Because of their dedication, they are bridging the gap between generations to enlighten our youth to the wonders of the Lake Champlain Basin, and our responsibility as stewards to it.

-Pat Alcott UVM '14


Thomas, Emma and Faisal teach their families all about turtles

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