Are you working on an energy project at your school? We have supported student-led projects such as:
- Analyzing the school's energy use to suggest improvements
- Developing school transportation projects
- Promoting efficiency and renewable energy projects
- Teaching others (school, community, etc.) about how and why to save energy
Get in touch with us if you need planning, technical, or equipment support to make your project successful.
Recent projects have included:
Burke Town School: Students teaching students
A group of Burke Town School eighth-graders decided they wanted to bring awareness to their school and community about energy, how energy use impacts the climate, and choices that individuals could make. They started an Energy Committee for their school in the rural Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. As part of their planning process, they reached out to VEEP with a bunch of great ideas, and we were able to send Kaity White, our northeastern educator, to mentor the students.
Throughout the spring 2018 semester, Kaity helped the students to develop an actionable SMART goal for their project. Then the older students taught their younger peers about energy, supported by VEEP lessons and equipment. Kaity reported that “this project was entirely student-led. It was very exciting to see the thoughtfulness and drive from these eighth graders.”
Christ the King School: Slowing Down Cars, Speeding Up Transportation Alternatives
It's tough to walk or bike — or even carpool — to school when the street outside becomes congested with vehicles at drop-off and pick-up time and the cars that aren't idling are driving too fast. Sixth-graders at Christ the King School in Rutland, VT, took matters into their own hands in the 2018-19 school year, with help from VEEP educator Laura MacLachlan.Students observed and documented issues with the drop-off location, then redesigned the intersection with help from Local Motion, the statewide bike and pedestrian advocacy organization. After the students presented their plan to the town's traffic safety committee, the Rutland Department of Public Works gave the students permission to temporarily change the traffic trouble spots with curb extensions and asphalt painting in a pop-up traffic safety project. Students also installed a new bike rack.
The pop-up project was installed in August 2018, and left in place for 10 days. During that time, the students worked with the Rutland Regional Planning Commission to collect data on traffic volume and traffic changes. As of spring 2019, the student group is working on a school travel plan, recruiting members for the new "safety patrol," and preparing to co-present with Local Motion at the Safe Routes to School conference.
Essex Middle School: Renewable Energy Generation
A student at Essex Middle School wanted to supplement the school's rooftop solar array with a smaller scale renewable energy generator that students could see and interact with. With the help of VEEP educator Mariah Keagy, the student embarked on a feasibility study into small scale wind energy. He learned how wind generation worked using VEEP's mini wind generators, and used data available from Vermont's Energy Atlas to map whether the site was suitable for wind. The student and Mariah waded through small scale wind siting requirements in a final assessment.
While the conclusion wasn't favorable for wind power, the student persevered and decided on a small solar installation to offset the energy use of the school's sugarhouse. Mariah brought tools to help the student measure the electrical load of the sugarhouse and figure out placement to optimize solar energy.