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Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #4 Winners Announced!
Apr 18

Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #4 Winners Announced!

By Emily Johns, High School Program Coordinator

Thank you to all the schools that submitted entries for Challenge #4, Sustainable Event Planning — the final projects went above and beyond! 

For this challenge, middle school students were asked to create a plan for a sustainable party or school dance as a way to “Green Your Party.” Similarly, high schoolers were asked to “Take Earth to Prom” and make eco-friendly updates to the classic, time-honored event. To meet their challenges, students creatively thought of ways to make environmentally friendly activities, decorations, food and waste management. Each school proposed a timeline and a budget for their bash as well.  Projects offered donations to environmental organizations, featured eco-friendly fashion shows and costume contests and even made picking up litter in a park into a fun active art activity! To share the details of their proposed events, both the high school and middle school challenges required students to create either a poster or a report containing all of the details, and even here, students let their creative design abilities shine. Everyone did a great job, and we hope to hear from schools who put their sustainable events into action!

And the winners are:

Middle School

First: Woodland Hills Academy — Isabel Concepcion, Raven Dean, Lillian Divelbiss, Helena Marshall, Mackenna Matthews, Cameron Taylor and Simone Wilson

Second: Carson Middle School — Niyah Cannabila, Lina Fu, Tabo Mkandawire, Katrina Price and Maddie Whitewolf

Third: Trafford Middle School — Emma Bishop, Gabby Caruso, Grace Chedwick, Aidan Coiner, Ella Dindak, Cece Doughty, Kate Malley, Mya Malloy, Jillian McLaughlin and Delena Steimer

Special Merit Awards:

  • Elizabeth Forward Middle School — Gianna Giovannacci, Emma McCarty and Mya McCloskey
  • Holy Trinity School — Maddie Ashbaugh, Luke Baker, Reighan Bean, Eliza Bell, Dominic Bodek, Ashley Boehm, Joey Cicchino, Maria Cicchino, Anthony D’Orazio, Sofia Davoli, Kaia Douglass, Jenna Gardner, Bianca Golomb, Deven Kumar, Grace Murray, Julian Myron, Marie Pigoni, Ryan Saginaw, Samantha Sawayda, Julia Seng, AJ Sinicki, Michael Smith, Contessa Tripodi, McKinley Walsh and Aaron Williams

High School

First: Shaler Area High School — Lauren Caplan, Dakota Carr, Hannah Coleman, Jamie Eichmiller, Caitlin Fedorek, Olivia Jarzynka, Emily Moorey, Ryan Rupert, Rebecca Schiavone and Anna Sheets

Second: Westinghouse Arts Academic Charter School — Colton Edwards, Trent Edwards, Caden Ferita, Isaac Hess, Joseph Lawrence, Jillian Lehosky and Phoebe Richardson

Third: West Mifflin High School — Olivia Tomko (report)

Special Merit Award: Norwin High School — Jillian Caswell, John Mamas and Kendra Scheideman

We would like to give a special shout out to our panelists: Joseph Reznik (CCAC), Carmen Sapir (Phipps Volunteer), Katelyn Larsen (Phipps Event Sales Manager), Jessica Long (Phipps Senior Internal Events Manager), Caroline Walker and Alannah Ebenstein (Phipps Event Sales Supervisors).  Thank you for lending us your expertise!

Have questions? Contact Emily Johns at or 412/622-6915, ext. 6936.

Developed by the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, Fl., and adopted by Phipps as a satellite partner in 2008, The Fairchild Challenge offers a menu of interdisciplinary challenges for grades 6 – 8 and grades 9 – 12, attracting students of diverse interests, abilities, talents and backgrounds. The Challenge empowers young people to engage in civic life and encourages them to become energetic and knowledgeable members of their communities.

Photographs taken by Phipps’ Science Education and Research staff.