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Fairchild Challenge at Phipps: Video Challenge Winners Announced!
Feb 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!  In this year’s challenge, Set the Stage for Air Quality, both middle and high school students created video skits in order to draw attention to often-overlooked air quality issues.  For their skits, students could choose between three topics:

  • Idling –Diesel pollution can be dangerous and Pennsylvania has laws against idling diesel vehicles, especially school busses.
  • Outdoor Activity – Outdoor athletes are particularly sensitive to air pollution, and there are ways they can protect themselves from exposure.
  • Indoor Air Quality – Despite humans spending an increasing amount of time indoors, we don’t often think about the quality of the air inside our buildings. 

Each group researched their topic and then created a short skit which drew attention to the chosen issue and offered actions or lessons that viewers could take away from it.  The skits we received were entertaining and insightful and covered a variety of air quality topics.  Great job to all participants!

Entries for this challenge were not awarded points in the 2019-20 Fairchild 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 created in collaboration with the Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP).

And the winners are:

Middle School

Freeport Area Middle School — Kaleb Bodily, Grant Glogowski, Leah Kapp, Calvin Lindsay, Carter Martin, Kylie McConahy, Madison Ronge, Hannah Windows


High School

Central Catholic High School — Anthony Frank and Jack Sabo

We would like to give a special shout out to our panelists: Ellen Conrad (Green Building Alliance), Tina Goparaju (Green Building Alliance, PULSE), Chelsea Hilty (Group Against Smog and Pollution) and Meghan Scanlon (Phipps Wellness & Sustainability Specialist).  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.