Welcome to the elementary school challenge page for Challenge B of the Fairchild Challenge! Read below to find challenge information, entry requirements, resources and more for the challenge.

Challenge B: Environmental Justice and Urban Design

Due Date: Friday, Dec 1, 2023 by 5 p.m.

Your Challenge:

In large urban areas there are often not a lot of green spaces, like parks. Green spaces have lots of benefits like shade from trees to escape the heat, reducing water runoff during storms, growing food, reducing levels of stress, supporting physical fitness, creating space for people to safely relax, and even helping people stay focused at work and school. Green spaces not only improve the quality of life in urban environments for humans, but for the plants and animals that live there as well! Having lots of diverse plants in a green space can provide food, shelter, safe drinking water for small animals like birds, squirrels and insects that live in cities.

Your challenge is to design and draw a green space that you would like to see created in your neighborhood or in the city of Pittsburgh. When designing your green space, think about where you would like it to be, how big, what sort of plants might grow there, and how both people and animals will interact with the space. The goal of your green space is to improve the livelihood of both the people and animals that live in your given location. Think about accessibility, opportunities for pollinators (bees, butterflies, birds), and what fun and useful features you can include (gazebos, water fountains, grills, restrooms, food gardens, etc.)

In addition, please also include a brief description of your green space, its benefits to people, plants, and animals, and where you would like it to go.

  • 50 words or less for Prek-1st
  • 75 words or less for 2-3rd
  • 100 words or less for 4-5th

Entry Requirements: Deliver to the science education coordinator at Phipps in person or via certified mail or via electronic submission (email):

  • Challenge Entry Form
  • Include the school name and the participating students’ names.

School Submits: Challenge Entry Form, 1 or 2 entries per set of grades.


The following list of online resources may be used when preparing your entry:




Read below to find the standards for each grade level for Challenge B of the Elementary School Fairchild Challenge

  • Grade K – Five

    • 3.1.1.A1 Categorize living and nonliving things by external characteristics.
    • 3.1.1.A2 Investigate the dependence of living things on the sun’s energy, water, food/nutrients, air, living space, and shelter.
    • 3.1.1.C3 CONSTANCY AND CHANGE Describe changes that occur as a result of habitat.
    • 3.2.K.A1 Identify and classify objects by observable properties of matter. Compare different kinds of materials and discuss their uses.
    • 3.2.K.B6 ENERGY Recognize that light from the sun is an important source of energy for living and nonliving systems and some source of energy is needed for all organisms to stay alive and grow.
    • 3.3.K.A1 Distinguish between three types of earth materials – rock, soil, and sand.
    • 3.3.K.A4 Identify sources of water for human consumption and use.
    • 3.1.3.A1 Describe characteristics of living things that help to identify and classify them.
    • 3.1.3.A2 Describe the basic needs of living things and their dependence on light, food, air, water, and shelter.
    • 3.1.3.A5 Identify the structures in plants that are responsible for food production, support, water transport, reproduction, growth, and protection.
    • 3.1.2.C2 Explain that living things can only survive if their needs are being met.
    • 3.4.3.A1 Identify how the natural made world and the human made world are different.
    • 3.4.3.A2 Identify that some systems are found in nature and some systems are made by humans.
    • 3.4.3.A3 Identify how the study of technology uses many of the same ideas and skills as many other subjects.
    • 3.4.3.B1 Describe how using technology can be good or bad.
    • 3.4.3.B3 Identify and define products made to meet individual needs versus wants.
    • 3.4.3.B4 Illustrate how people have made tools to provide food, clothing, and shelter.
    • 3.4.3.C1 Recognize design is a creative process and everyone can design solutions to problems.
    • 3.4.3.C2 Explain why the design process requires creativity and consideration of all ideas.
    • 3.4.3.C3 Recognize that all products and systems are subject to failure; many products and systems can be fixed.
    • 3.4.3.D1 Identify people’s needs and wants and define some problems that can be solved through the design process.
    • 3.4.3.E1 Identify the technologies that support and improve quality of life.
    • 3.4.3.E7 Recognize that people live, work, and go to school in buildings which are different types of structures.
    • 3.1.4.A2 Describe the different resources that plants and animals need to live.
    • 3.1.4.A5 Describe common functions living things share to help them function in a specific environment.
    • 3.4.4.A1 Understand that tools, materials, and skills are used to make things and carry out tasks.
    • 3.4.4.A2 Understand that systems have parts and components that work together.
    • 3.4.4.A3 Describe how various relationships exist between technology and other fields.
    • 3.4.5.A2 Understand that a subsystem is a system that operates as part of a larger system.
    • 3.4.4.B1 Describe how technology affects humans in various ways.
    • 3.4.4.B2 Explain how the use of technology affects the environment in good and bad ways.
    • 3.4.4.B3 Explain why new technologies are developed and old ones are improved in terms of needs and wants.
    • 3.4.5.B2 Describe how waste may be appropriately recycled or disposed of to prevent unnecessary harm to the environment.
    • 3.4.5.B3 Describe how community concerns support or limit technological developments.
    • 3.4.5.C1 Explain how the design process is a purposeful method of planning practical solutions to problems.
    • 3.4.5.C3 Identify how invention and innovation are creative ways to turn ideas into real things.
    • 3.4.4.D1 Investigate how things are made and how they can be improved.
    • 3.4.4.D3 Investigate and assess the influence of a specific technology or system on the individual, family, community, and environment.
    • 3.4.5.D3 Determine if the human use of a product or system creates positive or negative results.
    • 3.4.4.E1 Identify tools and devices that have been designed to provide information about a healthy lifestyle.
    • 3.4.5.E2 Understand that there are many different tools necessary to maintain an ecosystem, whether natural or man-made.

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