The ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain hosted Community Science Night, a celebratory event for local adult-to-youth mentoring pairs from the Chittenden County Mentoring Network (CCMN) on Thursday, March 22.

More than 200 adult mentors and youth mentees from 10 mentoring programs in Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, and Addison counties attended the free event, which featured open exploration of the museum’s exhibits, a scavenger hunt, and hands-on demonstrations led by the ECHO E-Team.

The event was sponsored by ECHO’s Open Door Program and Mobius, Vermont’s Mentoring Partnership, and participants received free pizza courtesy of Domino’s and cookies for dessert from Rhino Foods. The featured exhibit for the event was “My Sky,” a special exhibit featuring activities related to the sun, the moon and outer space.

Aubrey Robinson, an AmeriCorps service year member serving with Essex CHIPS, attended the event with her mentee Devin, a student at Essex Middle School.

“Devin and I had a blast exploring all of the different exhibits, from outer space to the turtles of Lake Champlain!” said Robinson, who mentors through the FriendCHIPS mentoring program, in a press release.

The E-Team, a group of freshmen and sophomore high school students from across Vermont, are celebrating their 11th year anniversary. They are guided by Noella Krakowski, Education Programs Coordinator at ECHO. Community Science Night featured the E-Team guiding mentors and mentees through the building with a designed scavenger hunt. They also invited guests to explore, create, and launch their own paper airplanes; showcased the Champlain Sea Tank; and challenged mentors and mentees to design a scribble bot to create their own art.

“The Community Science Night is the time for the E-team to take over the museum,” Krakowski said in a news release. “The E-Team gets to design the museum experience for the mentor-mentoree pairs. It becomes their opportunity to put the skills they have been developing into practice. It is always great to see their progression through the year.”