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

Challenge D

Title: Choose Your Own Eco-Action Adventure

Due Date: Fri., May 6, 2022 by 5 p.m. 

Your Challenge:

Do you want to do a project to help nature?  People help the environment in many ways, from little projects like picking up litter to big project like planting monarch migration waystations! Successful projects start by organizing your needs, tasks and goals. Your challenge is to choose a project to help nature in your community and create a plan of action for it. Pick a project that you are really excited about and be imaginative! In the past we’ve seen plans for monitoring electricity use, stray cat adoption events, basketball game fundraisers for environmental causes, pollinator and rain gardens, making art from collected litter, and even more innovative plans. The more excited you are to do this project, the more likely it will be to succeed!

You will submit a guide for planning your environmental action project. The guide can be in the form of a video, a photo book, step-by-step instructions with drawings or something else (be creative!) This guide should include: your project idea, goals you aim to achieve, some resources you’ll need, and relevant drawings or photos. If you have done this project before, please explain how you have expanded on the previous project for this year. We would love to hear about your results, especially if you have completed your projects by the time of submission!

Entry Requirements: Deliver to the science education coordinator at Phipps in person, via certified mail, or via email to

  • Challenge Entry Form, include the school name and the participating students’ names
  • Action plan submission in the form of a guidebook, photo book, video, or another creative entry

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

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

  • Grades 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.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.
    • 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.