Burlington's Echo Center celebrates Apollo anniversary

Published: Jul. 23, 2019 at 4:17 PM EDT
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In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, you have another chance to get in on the action. The Echo Center on the Burlington waterfront is hosting events over the next couple days. Our Ike Bendavid talked to the center's program manager to find out what's going on and what you can learn.

Reporter Ike Bendavid: I'm here with Cailee Smith of the Echo Center and you celebrating the Apollo 11 landing. What are some things happening here?

Cailee Smith: We are so excited to be branching out at Echo and exploring space science. We are celebrating the Apollo 50th anniversary with an exploration of space activities. We have a gravity well where guests can roll balls to see how a solar system might have been formed.

Ike Bendavid: So they are hands-on activities?

Cailee Smith: Yes, hands-on. Yes, we really want our guests to be hands-on and exploring some of the scientific phenomena themselves.

Ike Bendavid: What else is there?

Cailee Smith: You can also drop some balls to make craters, explore different types of creators on things like the moon and better understanding of what those are and how they came to be. We also have some fun crafts we are doing, some nebula art. We are using shaving cream and food coloring... It comes out looking like a swirling galaxy.

Ike Bendavid: Was this planned with the 50 anniversary in mind?

Cailee Smith: Yes, the 50th anniversary of the first man on the moon has so much significance, sparked so many future scientists and we really wanted to honor that, get our guests excited about it and bring something new to Echo with some really fun moon and space activities.

Ike Bendavid: Do you think these exhibits are going to inspire future scientists?

Cailee Smith: I certainly hope so. These activities and exhibits give our guests a chance to try out some of the science for themselves and that can inspire them to want to learn more and that's where every future scientist starts is with that little kernel of knowledge that sparks something bigger.

Ike Bendavid: You brought in some guests to help that inspiration, as well?

Cailee Smith: Yes, today, Tuesday and tomorrow, Wednesday, we have Nicole Whelly who works with the lunar reconnaissance orbiter who is here talking about the moon and the significance of the Apollo missions. We have also had partners from the Vermont Space Museum here.

Ike Bendavid: How long is the event going until?

Cailee Smith: It goes through the end of the day on Thursday. Guests can come to learn about space science, check out our vacuum of space demo-- which is a lot of fun, you have to see what happens to the marshmallows-- and do a lot of other hands-on activities.

Ike Bendavid: Quickly, what are we going to see? What happens to those marshmallows? What are we about to see?

Cailee Smith: We are going to recreate a vacuum somewhat like space. Between planets, there is very little matter and without that pressure from matter such as air, marshmallows expand and will constrict again. It's a crowd-pleaser. It's a real crowd-pleaser. It's a whole lot of fun. We have fun testing it in the office.

Ike Bendavid: OK, thank you so much.