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So far Dana Dwinell-Yardley has created 53 blog entries.

Adding Some Fun to the Challenge!


Welcome to our third blog post! Since we posted last, buy we have made some great progress, viagra 100mg and added an element of fun and silliness to our project.

Last week, troche we took a field trip to the Sustainability Academy in Burlington, where we had an interesting and informative tour from the fifth grade and maintenance crew. We learned how they remodeled their entire building, and how they heat their school geothermally (from the earth). They have dimmable lights, photo sensors, and lots of natural light. They also have a great method of cutting down on waste; all the food not eaten in a week is given to the food shelf. It was great to get insight on how other schools have become energy efficient, and how big a role the students play in this. Thank you to the Sustainability Academy!

We are currently assembling our new compost bin for browns, as our handmade wood holder for it is complete. We are excited to have […]

Making Some Awesome Progress!

Hello, treat

Welcome to our second blog post! Since we posted last, malady our main focus has changed from making a plan and alerting our school community to collecting data and preparing to put our plan into action.

  For our light goal, nurse  we counted all the light fixtures in the school, and are in the process of calculating our total costs and kilowatt hours. We are hoping to decrease our costs, and make our lights more energy efficient and less glaring. We also have started building our very own compost bin holding structure for our waste decreasing goal. We’re using this to store our browns, which are things like dry leaves, straw, and wood chips. This is essential to the success of our compost, and without browns our soil would not be nearly as good. Lastly, for our insulation goal,  we mapped the entire school, measuring all of it and drawing it to scale. We are hoping that this can […]

Essex Middle School Idle Free Campaign

The following is a piece that was included in our school newsletter about our Idle Free Campaign:



The Edge Academy team students are conducting a vehicle idling study for the second year and as a first step collected idling data for five days at the school pick up areas this fall.

The findings:

Initial data collection conducted for five days at school afternoon dismissal on 11/2, 11/3, 11/4, 11/5, 11/6

Average temperature: 64 degrees

Total vehicles observed: 164; total vehicles idling: 70 (42.4%); total minutes of idling: 465 = 7.75 hours

Amount of fuel consumed: 3.33 gal1/five days / 0.67 gal/per day average

Amount of fuel consumed annually (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 119 gal

Amount of CO2 emissions annually -2 (est.) – based on 180 day school year: 2,380 lb

1 based on passenger vehicle — car/SUV/pick up truck — idling consumption of 0.43 gal/hr

2 one gallon of gasoline consumed equals 19.64 pounds of CO2 emitted


Small grants available to schools for climate education projects

ecodollarsAre you considering taking on a climate-oriented project in your school, but funding is a barrier to making it happen? Thanks to funding by the US EPA, VEEP has a small grant program to help bring these good ideas to life in your school, and the application process is open! We welcome proposals for grants of $100–$1,000 for projects that address climate change and improve environmental literacy among students in Vermont schools. 

Download an application: Click here to download the application as a Word document.

When: Proposals are due to VEEP by January 15, 2016. Grants will be awarded by February 1, 2016.

Who: These grants are available to school districts. The application must officially come from the school district to comply with the terms of VEEP’s EPA grant.

Types of projects that might be considered

  • Bringing additional content expertise into schools.
  • Purchasing materials to be used to enhance critical thinking, problem solving, and action in school curriculum such […]
By |December 21st, 2015|Grants|0 Comments

Classroom Compost Continues

Team Summit has continued to collect classroom compost from snacks eaten during the day in our classroom. Over the last 4 years we have collected over 240 pounds of food scraps from our snacks eaten in the classroom. During the first trimester of this year, we have collected over 20 pounds from our classroom alone.  In addition, we are creating a presentation on how to correctly classroom compost to others in the school to help keep more food waste out of the landfill.  There are concerns about potential smell, fruit flies, and that it takes extra time to take the compost out to the collection bins. Our presentation will show that this hasn’t been a problem for us due to the system we have in place for composting.  Composting food saves on energy since we aren’t paying for trucks hauling off food scraps to the landfill in Coventry, VT that can be composted locally up the street from MSMS. It will also save on green house gas emissions since food scraps that decompose in an anaerobic environment, such as […]

Northfield Middle High School Green Team

Northfield Middle High School Green Team Just checking in on the blog.  Working on some new ideas. Anyone want to share something that is working?


Northfield Middle High School

Take your school on a Hibernation Vacation

December break is a great time to save energy by powering down your school. We like to call these energy-saving breaks Hibernation Vacations.

Several of this year’s Green School Energy Challenge schools have already held Hibernation Vacations this year: check out this post from Woodstock for inspiration. 

This excerpt from our Green School Energy Challenge curriculum & playbook offers some suggestions on hibernating at your school.

How to Take a Hibernation Vacation: Power down your school before vacations

Vacation is a great time to save electricity (and heating fuel) at schools. You can easily reduce your school’s electric use over vacation by simply making sure appliances that use phantom load are unplugged and appliances that don’t need to be on are turned off. Sounds simple, right?

Champlain Valley Union’s environmental club (EnACT) started hibernation vacation in 2011. In this activity, a team of students goes around the school at the end of the day right before vacation targeting specific locations for unplugging and double-checking that devices are turned off. This fun activity has become […]

By |December 10th, 2015|Green School Energy Challenge|0 Comments

Moretown Students Seek Solar Solutions

Moretown Engineering in Action

Our 4th, remedy 5th and 6th  grade student engineers participant in a 12 week long STE@M class that meets everyday for 40 minutes.   This 12 week, collaboratively-taught program introduces foundational engineering, design and communication concepts and tools.  Our curriculum is informed with local and national STEM curriculum, and aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core learning outcomes.  Our VEEP partnership provides an essential aspect of our curricular work regarding energy production and conservation.  Information regarding our units of study can be found here: Moretown STE@M Program


Staff Profile: Andy Shapiro

This is the second in a series of VEEP educator profiles, where we take a minute out of our day to chat with our amazing staff, learn about their lives, hear more about what fires them up — and share their story with you. 

* * *

Andy Shapiro: ‘We’re doing so much cool stuff!’

“In the early 90s,” Andy Shapiro says, talking about going into classrooms to lead VEEP programs, “I would say, ‘Put your hand up if you’ve ever heard of global warming or climate change.'” There would be maybe one hand.” Today, he says, every hand or nearly every hand goes up when he asks that same question.

Many things have changed since Andy, VEEP’s director of science and engineering education, joined VEEP 26 years ago. His love of bringing science and environmental issues to kids in a real way is not one of them.

“I like explaining stuff to people, helping them measure things,” he says. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about energy out there. There’s still […]

By |November 30th, 2015|Staff Profiles|0 Comments

Woodstock Hibernates!

IMG_4030Woodstock Elementary School’s first hibernation vacation, conducted last week during Thanksgiving break, went considerably well. We tried to save energy in our school by unplugging and turning off any electricity consuming object we could and thus having these appliances ‘hibernate’ for a few days. In a few weeks, we will be doing the same thing during the holiday break and hoping that staff will eventually do it before leaving each weekend or even on a daily basis!

By |November 30th, 2015|Woodstock Elementary School|1 Comment