Energy Education and Efficiency

Our seventh and eighth grade APS students worked for two weeks with Mariah Keagy of Vermont Energy Education Program (VEEP). They used some of the VEEP curricula to supplement their existing science work. Included in that work was a unit on wind energy and a unit on renewables. The VEEP curriculum can be found here. As an add-on to that work, we also connected with VEEP's sister organization, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC). Ethan Bellavance of VEIC, who happens to also be the wife of our Ren 5th grade teacher, Caitlin Bellavance, came out to do an initial energy audit on our building. He set up a blower-door test and we sent the kids on a sort of scavenger hunt to find leaky spots. He also had an infrared camera we could use to take pictures of the cold spots with detailed data on how cold the air was that was coming in. It was a really fun and informative session. Any parent who has braved the cold front hallway of late will not be surprised that he described our building as the least air-tight he has ever tested. Our testing also resulted a punch list of small projects to seal up leaky parts of the building. We plan to have Ethan back to do further analysis on our top floor as well as on our HVAC system. We will continue to meet with Mariah to discuss another year-long outreach program for next year connected to VEEP's Whole School Energy Challenge. We want the students to do a full analysis of our building and energy usage with an eye on greening up everything we do.