Our History

The early days of VEEP's Solar Challenge.

The early days of VEEP’s Solar Challenge.

The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) was founded in 1979 by the Vermont Department of Public Service and the Vermont Department of Education in response to a dramatic increase in requests from teachers for energy and the environmental curricula during the oil embargo. Fran Barhydt, a nationally recognized teacher of teachers, was hired by VEEP in 1988 and was joined in 1992 by Andy Shapiro, an energy consultant and teacher with broad expertise in energy science. Their first collaboration on solar workshops grew out of the Tour de Sol. The workshops were a great success and inspired Fran and Andy to develop a range of energy curricula using exemplary teaching approaches in science, math, and technology. This collaboration has formed the core of VEEP’s approach ever since: to engage students around the pressing social and environmental issue of our time—energy.  VEEP became an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2013, after operating as part of Vermont Energy Investment Corporation for many years.

Today, VEEP promotes energy literacy for all of Vermont’s teachers and students through our core programs. In the 2016/17 school year, we reached 160 schools and more than 10,000 teachers and students through 477 in-class workshops, 57 schools borrowed 100+ VEEP curriculum support kits, and 165 teachers participated in VEEP professional development.