The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center hosted Community Science Night, a celebratory event for local adult-to-youth mentoring pairs from the Chittenden County Mentoring Network (CCMN) on Wednesday, March 11. Nearly 200 adult mentors and youth mentees from mentoring programs in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties attended the free event, which featured open exploration of the museum’s exhibits, including “Playing Together: Games,” the featured exhibit on the history of board games, and hands-on demonstrations led by the ECHO Environmental Team (E-team).
The event was sponsored by ECHO’s Open Door Program and Mobius, Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership, and was catered by the Burlington Food Service. Representatives from the Vermont offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders also went to the event to meet mentors and mentees, and experience mentoring first hand.
“It was such a wonderful event,” said Charlotte resident Julie Elitzer, who came to Community Science Night with her third-grade mentee Amarre. “We enjoyed the pizza, and it gave us a nice time to connect about what had gone on in our week. Then being able to have such a great adventure at the Echo Center was fabulous. We enjoyed fun activities with some other fellow big buddy participants and loved the optics presentation.”
Elitzer and Amarre were paired through the King Street Center’s Junior Senior Buddies mentoring program.
Noella Krakowski, Science Education Specialist at ECHO, works with ECHO’s Teen Leadership Program (ECHO E-Team) made up of high school students from Chittenden County. During Community Science Night, the E-Team interacted with visiting mentors and mentees as they experienced and enjoyed the science center.
“We are proud to have this partnership with the local mentoring community and were honored to host this event for them,” said Krakowski. “For the E-Team, Community Science Night is an opportunity to showcase the skills they have been developing through our program. It is amazing to see their knowledge in science grow and to watch how they share that knowledge with the public. I am extremely proud of how the group worked together to select and design the activities and presentations we put on the floor for the mentoring community.”
For more information about mentoring programs visit www.mobiusmentors.org.