Arbor Day Program to Highlight New ECHO Distance Learning

Detroit (April 25, 2018) – The Michigan Science Center and ITC Holdings Corp. will host a special Arbor Day program on Friday, April 27, with schools throughout the state to highlight the museum’s new ECHO Distance Learning Program.

ECHO, part of the Science Center’s Traveling Science program, uses video conferencing to connect classrooms from any location with a museum educator who conducts interactive lessons in real time. ITC Vice President of Engineering Joe Bennett will team up with the Science Center for a special Arbor Day lesson on the importance of trees, how ITC works with communities to safely plant the trees away from power lines, and how ITC helps promote natural habitats in its electricity transmission corridors.

“We are excited to work with ITC on this Arbor Day program,” said Charles Gibson, Michigan Science Center director of innovation and outreach. “Variety is very important for students, and ECHO helps us approach learning from every direction. When we use a variety of techniques, we can transform how students learn.”

ECHO content is aligned with NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS (NGSS), a new set of national science standards designed to help students achieve a cohesive understanding of science over time. ECHO combines technology and hands-on elements to engage students and transform how they learn. The program is made possible by a $300,000 donation from ITC.

“ITC is proud to be a longtime supporter of the Michigan Science Center, and to help bring its programming to the far reaches of the state to communities like Adrian, Grayling, Durand, New Boston, Port Huron and more, which are also served by ITC,” said Bennett. “Furthermore, we know that the budding young scientists, mathematicians and engineers we are inspiring today will develop the energy solutions of the future.”

Editor’s Note: The following schools are among those pre-registered to participate in the Arbor Day distance learning program. For local coverage opportunities with a school in your area, please contact A limited number of webcast registrations are available to media to view the program live. Video and photography will be available following the program.

  • Henderson Academy, Detroit, MI
  • Carleton Elementary, Detroit, MI
  • Bates Academy, Detroit, MI
  • Gompers Elementary, Detroit, MI
  • Defer Elementary, Grosse Pointe, MI
  • Poupard Elementary School, Harper Woods
  • Rockwell Middle School, Warren, MI
  • St. William Catholic School, Walled Lake, MI

About the Michigan Science Center

The Michigan Science Center inspires nearly 300,000 curious minds of all ages every year through STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) discovery, innovation and interactive education in Detroit and across the state of Michigan. As the STEM hub of the state, we focus on developing and introducing expanded education programs, exhibits, and initiatives that enable us to empower and enrich all children and all communities with STEM. Through our Traveling Science Program and distance learning initiative, we are expanding beyond our Detroit-based facility, with a goal of reaching all 83 counties of Michigan. With Toyota’s 4D Engineering Theater, live stage shows, a Planetarium, lab activities, 250+ hands-on exhibits, and more, there are dozens of ways to customize your MiSci visit. The Michigan Science Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and does not receive support from the city of Detroit or the state of Michigan. For more information, please call 313.577.8400 or visit the website,

About ITC Michigan                                                   

ITC Holdings Corp., the nation’s largest independent electricity transmission company based in Novi, Michigan, owns and operates two subsidiaries in the state: ITCTransmission and METC (collectively, ITC Michigan). The two systems comprise approximately 8,700 circuit miles of transmission line serving most of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. For further information visit WWW.ITC-HOLDINGS.COM. ITC is a subsidiary of Fortis Inc., a leader in the North American regulated electric and gas utility industry. For further information visit WWW.FORTISINC.COM.

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