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Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Video Challenge Winners Announced!
Mar 04

Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Video Challenge Winners Announced!

By Emily Johns, High School Program Coordinator

Thank you to all the schools that submitted entries for our Optional Video Challenge!  This year, the video challenge focused on the topic of urban gardening.  It challenged students to think about food supply, food access, and sustainable growing practices.  In the challenge, titled “Urban Gardens Infomercial,” both middle and high school students had to develop a business plan for an urban garden and create a video infomercial pitching their ideas.  Participating students created designs that included both indoor and outdoor garden plans, and chose to grow everything from herbs to tomatoes.  Many students planned for the food grown in their gardens to be served in their cafeterias, and some even discussed the benefits of garden-based learning. 

Entries for this challenge were not awarded points in the 2018-19 Farichild Challenge, but instead were considered for the Patti Burns Prize for Excellence in Communication and Media.  The winning entries from both the middle school and high school competitions were selected to each receive one of these $500 prizes.

This challenge was also a “Fairchild Global Challenge,” meaning that students at Fairchild Challenge sites around the world were also working with the same prompt!  Keep an eye out for more student videos on www.youtube.com/education   

And the winners are:

Middle School

Woodland Hills Academy — Zoe Spear and Lucy Elston

High School

Penn-Trafford High School — Talitha Brobst, Sydney Herrmann and Dakota Dandrea


Stay tuned for additional student videos in a coming blog post!


We would like to give a special shout out to our panelists: Robert Grey (Grow Pittsburgh), Lisa Schrott (Phipps Volunteer) and Allison Glick (Phipps Homegrown Garden Installation Coordinator).  Thank you for lending us your expertise!


Have questions? Contact Emily Johns at ejohns@phipps.conservatory.org 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.


Cover art by Zoe Smith.  Photographs taken by Phipps’ Science Education and Research staff.