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Updated Fairchild Challenges! We are pleased to announce modifications to the Phipps Fairchild Challenge that account for school closures, virtual and home learning and social distancing. Updated challenge descriptions can be found below.

The due dates for challenges #4 and #5 have been extended to Fri., May 1, 2020. Entries may be submitted to Phipps by mail, drop-off or digitally to ejohns@phipps.conservatory.org.

Challenge 4 Update: Middle School

Challenge 4 Update: High School

Challenge 5 Update: Middle and High School

Challenge 5 Data Sheet Example

Challenge 5 Activity Data Sheet

The Fairchild Challenge is a free, multidisciplinary, standards-based environmental education outreach program designed to give high school and middle school students an opportunity to creatively shine. By appealing to their innate sense of curiosity about the world around them, the Challenge invites students to investigate the thorniest environmental issues, devise imaginative and effective responses to these issues, and take action to address them.

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.

The Fairchild Challenge

Fairchild Challenge Blog

Looking for the latest Fairchild Challenge program updates, from challenge announcements to winners galleries and more? Find them here on our blog!

How to Participate

2019 – 2020 Registration Forms

A Fairchild Challenge team at your school, typically consisting of teachers in a variety of disciplines, submits one middle school or high school registration form. All faculty and administration should be notified that your school is registering.

Download the Middle School Registration Form

Download the High School Registration Form

Challenge Overviews

Download the Middle School Challenge Overviews

Download the High School Challenge Overviews

Additional Challenge Overviews coming soon

Submitting an Entry

Following the specific policies and requirements, teachers submit the best entries with a Challenge Entry Form. Panels from Phipps and the greater community then evaluate the work.

Download the Challenge Entry Form

Additional Resources

Judging Rubrics

These rubrics will be used by our panels to judge each entry for the various challenges. Feel free to download and review.

Download the Middle School Rubric for Challenge 1

Download the High School Rubric for Challenge 1

Download the Middle School Rubric for Challenge 2

Download the High School Rubric for Challenge 2

Download the Optional Challenge Rubric

Download the Middle School Rubric for Challenge 3

Download the High School Rubric for Challenge 3

Download the Middle School Rubric for Challenge 4

Download the High School Rubric for Challenge 4

Additional Challenge Rubrics coming soon 

Program Policies

Additional details on challenge requirements, responsilibilies, permissions and other topics may be found in the document below.

Download the Program Policies

Contact Us

If you have any questions, you may also wish to contact High School Program Coordinator Emily Johns at ejohns@phipps.conservatory.org or 412/622-6915, ext. 6936.

The Fairchild Challenge Mission

To foster interest in the environment by encouraging students to appreciate the beauty and value of nature; develop critical-thinking skills; understand the need for conservation and biodiversity; tap community resources; become actively engaged citizens; and recognize that individuals do indeed make a difference.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Grable Foundation and the Pennsylvania Education Improvement Tax Credit Program.

Photo © Kristi Hoffman