Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #4 Winners Announced!
Apr 08

Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Challenge #4 Winners Announced!

By Jennifer Torrance, Science Education Coordinator

Thank you to the many schools that submitted entries for Challenge #4!  These challenges were titled “When I Grow Up” for elementary school, “Change-makers of Tomorrow” for middle school and “Making Green Work” for high school students.


Elementary School

Elementary school students were challenged to think about jobs that saves the planet! Students learned about different environmental and sustainability careers and picked a job that sounded like a good fit for them. Students then created time capsules, drew themselves doing eco-friendly jobs, or wrote letters from their future selves explaining what green career they are doing many years from now! We were impressed and inspired by these students’ creativity and desire to help our Earth! Congratulations to the elementary schools that participated. Here are a few of our favorites:

Kindergarteners and 1st graders from Edgewood STEAM Academy


2nd and 3rd Graders from Edgewood STEAM Academy (top) and Turtle Creek STEAM Academy (bottom)


3rd Graders from Tenth Street Elementary School


4th and 5th Graders From Turtle Creek STEAM Academy


4th and 5th Graders from Edgewood STEAM Academy


4th and 5th Grader from Tenth Street Elementary School


Middle School

Middle and high school students were challenged to pick a community or region of world outside of mainland United States and research how it is affected by a conservation or climate change issue. When we think of conservation and climate change efforts, we often imagine planting trees or saving polar bears on melting ice. However, conservation efforts and climate action can look very different depending on where someone lives! Middle schoolers explored what conservation efforts look like in different regions or communities, while high schoolers delved into careers that mitigate the effects of climate change seen in those areas. Students made posters and infographics about these eco-careers, including information on day-to-day tasks, type of schooling needed, and important skills for doing those careers.


First Place: North Hills Middle School; Adelaide Seigworth, Elinor Kim, Niamh Greer, Keelin McKiernan, and Autumn Mandell


Second Place: Penn Middle School; Annabell Aquino, Caeley Simon, and Ava Simpson


Third Place: Freeport Area Middle School; Carer Martin, Jacob McClymonds, Grant Glogowski, and Calvin Lindsay


Special Merit: Trafford Middle School; Delaney Race and Chloe Bishop


Special Merit: Freeport Area Middle School; Lea Kapp, Hannah Windows, Kylie McConahy, Maddi Ronge, Pavana Bhat



High School


First Place: Penn-Trafford High School; Tali Brobst, Mark Harris, Kristina Heins, Emily Lenart, Kate Malley, Delena Steimer


Second Place: Central Catholic; John Dickson


Third Place: West Mifflin Area High School; Mariah Lewis


Special Merit: Springdale High School; Molly Ihnat


We would like to give a special shout out to our incredible panelists: Ron Rademacher, Frank Muto, Shishir Paudel, and Adam Haas. Thank you all for lending us your time and expertise!


Have questions? Contact Jennifer Torrance at jtorrance@phipps.conservatory.org or 412/622-6915, ext. 3230.


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 K-5, 6-8 and  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’ Research and Science Education staff.