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

Challenge B

Title: When I Grow Up 

Due Date: February 18, 2022 by 5 p.m. 

Your Challenge:

What do you want to be when you grow up? How can you help the planet as you get older? When we think of helping the Earth, we often think about planting trees or picking up litter, but there is a lot more you can do: You can have a job that saves the planet! Learn about different environmental and sustainability careers, and pick a job that you think sounds like a good fit for you. Do you want to research wild animals or study ecology? Would you enjoy teaching other people about the environment or creating computer programs for scientists to use? Or maybe constructing eco-friendly buildings or working on electric vehicles? There are so many different jobs that can help the Earth!

  • K to 1st Grade: Your challenge is to imagine yourself doing one of these jobs in the future. What tools would you need to do this job? Make a time capsule for your future self and include objects that would help you to do your job saving the Earth! Send in a picture of your time capsule with labels on the objects.
  • 2nd and 3rd Grade: Your challenge is to draw a picture of yourself doing your favorite job that helps the Earth! Draw the place where you would work, the clothes you would wear at work and the tools you would need to do your job. Write three sentences about the job you chose and how you are helping the Earth!
  • 4th and 5th Grade: Your challenge is to write a letter to yourself from your future self! Describe what job you are doing in the future and how it helps the Earth. It can be a job that you’ve learned about or an imaginary job that doesn’t exist yet! Be creative! Write about who your job helps and what your favorite parts of your future job are. 

Entry Requirements:

Deliver to Jennifer Torrance, the science education coordinator at Phipps in person, via certified mail, or through electronic submission via email to

  • Challenge Entry Form
  • Project submission


Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The Fairchild Challenge c/o Jennifer Torrance
One Schenley Park
Pittsburgh, PA 15213



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

  • Grade K – Five

    • CC.1.2.2.C: Describe the connection between a series of events, concepts, or steps in a procedure within a text.
    • CC.1.2.2.J: Acquire and use grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases.
    • CC.1.4.2.A: Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
    • CC.1.4.2.G: Write opinion pieces on familiar topics or texts.
    • CC.1.4.2.J: Create an organizational structure that includes reasons and includes a concluding statement.
    • CC.1.4.2.K: Use a variety of words and phrases to appeal to the audience.
    • CC.1.4.2.L: Demonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.
      • Capitalize proper nouns.
      • Use commas and apostrophes appropriately.
      • Spell words drawing on common spelling patterns.
      • Consult reference material as needed.
    • CC.1.4.2.M: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.
    • 9.1.5.B: Recognize, know, use and demonstrate a variety of appropriate arts elements and principles to produce, review and revise original works in the arts.
    • 4.1.2.E: Identify how living things survive changes in their environment.
    • 4.1.4.E: Explain that ecosystems change over time due to natural and/ or human influences.
    • 4.5.4.C: Describe how human activities affect the environment.
    • 4.3.K.B: Recognize the importance of conserving natural resources.
    • 4.3.2.A: Describe the jobs/hobbies people have in the community that relate to natural resources.
    • 4.3.4.A: Identify ways humans depend on natural resources for survival. Identify resources used to provide humans with energy, food, employment, housing and water.
    • 4.5.4.A: Identify how people use natural resources in sustainable and non-sustainable ways.
    • 4.5.K.C: Identify different types of pollution (land, water or air) and their sources.
    • 4.5.2.C: Identify how people can reduce pollution.
    • 4.5.K.D: Identify waste and practice ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
    • 4.5.2.D: Describe how people can help the environment by reducing, reusing, recycling and composting.

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