Earth Week project: Go idle-free at your school

Looking for a spring project to coincide with Earth Week? Sign up for an Idle-Free School Campaign! The campaigns target idling “hot spots” at schools to help reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

Who: This project can be undertaken by a class, afterschool group, eco club, or service learning/community service group.

VEEP will provide:

  • Support and guidance
  • Materials and instructions
  • “No idling” street signs for the school

Click here for the four simple steps of the Idle-Free program in a one-page flyer or handout.

Interested in participating? Sign up with Cara: cara@veep.org or 802-552-VNRG.

Process and time commitment

Step 1: Intro

VEEP will come in and introduce the project to your students.

Time Commitment: 30 minutes

Step 2: Data collection

Pairs of students observe and track idling behavior of drivers during afterschool pickup tallying information on a simple observation sheet.

When: Any week before Earth Day (Saturday, April 22)

Time Commitment: 3-4 days, from 10 minutes before school release through the […]

By |March 16th, 2017|Transportation|0 Comments

Sign up for VEEP’s Summer Institute 2017: Energy & Climate in Depth

Energy & Climate as Disciplinary Core Ideas  |  June 26–30, 2017

Developing the foundation for teaching energy and climate in the classroom

Teachers learn how to use VEEP science equipment at last year’s institute.

Spend a week with VEEP on the shores of beautiful Lake Morey developing your skills as a teacher. This five-day program for teachers of grades K–12 will give you the opportunity to deepen your understanding of Next Generation Science Standards, energy, and climate through hands-on exploration, discussions with experts, field trips, and collaboration time for unit creation.

Each day is filled with with a mixture of instruction, recreation, and excellent accommodations at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. Families are welcome and encouraged to stay onsite as well. This provides an environment that encourages not only learning but dialogue, reflection, and fun.

We are offering separate tracks for teachers of grades K–5 and teachers of grades 6–12. Three graduate credits are available for either track.

By |March 2nd, 2017|Training|0 Comments

Tips for collaboration between schools & community partners

Both schools and community groups can benefit from collaborations that are strong and authentic. Service learning opportunities that allow students to get involved in their community working on real problems can enrich education. However, the help that is offered to schools or asked of teachers must match students’ needs.

Get the handout

VEEP has developed a new two-page overview for community partners — energy committees, businesses, community organizations, or other groups — of suggestions for working with schools. Click here to download the Collaborating with Schools handout.

Be included in the VEEP database

VEEP is also compiling a list of schools and list of partners who are interested in collaborating. We will connect folks who have similar interests and needs. To add your information to this list, fill out this short form.

By |December 8th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Mini-grants available to schools for climate education projects

Are 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 U.S. 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 November 15, 2016. Grants will be awarded by December 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 as energy monitoring hardware and […]
By |November 2nd, 2016|Grants|0 Comments

Get your students rolling on transportation action with an Idle-Free School Campaign!

Idle-Free School Campaigns target idling “hot spots” at schools to help reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality. The program can be run in a classroom or with a Green Team or after-school club.  Students will learn organizational, analytical and communication skills as they perform data analysis, be empowered by showing drivers the significant benefits in shutting off engines when parked, and take pride in making a positive difference in their school community.

The compelling benefits of simply turning off the key when parked:

  • Save money. Avoid fuel waste and engine wear.
  • Improve air quality and health. Tailpipe chemicals can cause diseases over time like cancer and asthma.
  • Slow climate change. Exhaust emissions contain carbon dioxide (CO2) that contributes to climate change.
  • Conserve energy. Unnecessary idling contributes to fossil fuel use.
  • Comply with laws. Vermont has laws that restrict idling.

The process

In a five-step process, students collect […]

By |October 18th, 2016|Transportation|0 Comments

New Resource: VEEP lessons on transportation for grades 4-12

parking-825371_1920In conjunction with the Way to Go! Challenge in late September, pilule we have developed a lesson on transportation for grades 4-8 and a transportation challenge for grades 9-12. Both lessons are available in one PDF, salve which includes extension ideas.

In the elementary/middle grades lesson, students start to think about transportation in their own communities by conducting a school parking lot survey.  They then gather information from EPA fuel economy labels and analyze the data looking for patterns and trends. Each student selects a vehicle and interviews its owner about their driving tendencies. As a final product, students make recommendations to the vehicle owner regarding future car purchases and ways to reduce their transportation footprints.

The high school challenge asks students to undertake a project that uses scientific analysis and data-based decision-making to reduce your school’s transportation footprint.

To download the lessons, please fill out the form below. You will be e-mailed a link to the PDF. Your name will […]

By |September 8th, 2016|Resources & Materials|0 Comments

Free Button Up workshop for Vermont schools

Students measure heat loss in different types of insulating materials in the Button Up workshop. Students measure heat loss in different types of insulating materials in the Button Up workshop.

The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) has recently updated its Button Up in-class workshop, pills giving middle and high school students a hands-on way to learn about thermal energy by exploring the effects of home weatherization.

The workshop is available for all schools in Vermont. VEEP offers a free workshop to every class in Vermont, with fees for additional workshops. If your school serves students who live in towns served by Vermont Gas (Franklin, Chittenden, and Addison counties), VEEP educators can bring the Button Up workshop to your classroom at no cost, as well as offering an additional free workshop.

In the 90-minute Button Up workshop, students are asked to consider how they can use less energy to heat their home while still keeping it […]

By |September 6th, 2016|Workshops|0 Comments

Regional Teacher Learning Teams to expand to St. Albans and Rutland this fall

Isolation can be one of the major challenges of teaching science in northern New England. Educators in small, rural communities are often “the only science teacher in their school,” says Jess Angell, director of curriculum and education at the Vermont Energy Education Program.

A new program is helping to address that sense of isolation. VEEP’s teacher learning teams bring teachers together to learn from each other, get support from an experienced science educator, and get up-to-date training in best practices and educational standards. The pilot team just finished its first year in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom; VEEP is expanding the program to southern and northwestern Vermont in the coming school year.


The first year

Jess Angell, at left, leading a teacher training on climate change, summer 2015. Jess Angell, at left, leading a teacher training on climate change, summer 2015.

The pilot team, a group of nine teachers led by Angell, met four times from fall 2015 through spring 2016. […]

By |August 5th, 2016|Training|0 Comments

VEEP to expand programming to New Hampshire

The Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP) will be bringing its hands-on programming across the Connecticut River to New Hampshire teachers and schools in the coming school year.

“New Hampshire doesn’t have an organization doing energy education programming in schools, discount ” says Cara Robechek, vialis 40mg VEEP’s executive director. “We saw this as an opportunity to help teachers bring this education into their classes.”

VEEP recently received a grant from the Putnam Foundation to make that opportunity a reality. This first year of funding will kickstart what VEEP hopes will be an ongoing relationship with its neighboring state. VEEP is actively seeking additional funding to increase this year’s offerings and continue to serve New Hampshire schools in future years.

“We hope to be able to expand our services in New Hampshire during the coming year, malady ” says Robechek, “and we’d love if our energy advocates in New Hampshire would let teachers know about our programming.”

By |July 15th, 2016|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Applications now open for Green School Energy Challenge 2016/17

VEEP’s Green School Energy Challenge (GSEC) will be changing this year from a “whole school” program to a supported professional development program for teachers of grades 4–12, based on feedback from long-time, dedicated GSEC teachers and our experiences with the program over the past five years.

Some highlights of the change include:

  • An in-person training and collaboration day near the beginning of the school year (September 20).
  • Four additional after school meetings (virtual and/or in person) throughout the year to collaborate and share ideas with other teachers, in addition to the support teachers receive from their VEEP educator.
  • More flexibility on projects: We will support a wider variety of projects designed to reduce energy use and transition to renewables. Projects can be electric, thermal or transportation, and they can be in locations other than the school itself.
  • More flexibility in kits and materials:  Teachers will have access to a wider variety of VEEP kits and materials as part of the program.
  • Professional development credits: Teachers will be able to choose whether […]