Welcome to the high school challenge page for Challenge 3 of the Fairchild Challenge! Read below to find challenge information, entry requirements, resources and more for the challenge.

Challenge 3: Jackpot Media Challenge

Title: "Compelling Climate Conservations"
For individuals or groups

Note: Entries will be considered for the Patti Burns Prize for Excellence in Communication and Media instead of being awarded points toward the 2022 – 2023 Fairchild Challenge 

Due: Fri., Jan. 20, 2022 by 5 p.m.

Download the Challenge 3 Rubric

Your Challenge:

Climate change is an important and urgent topic, but it’s also a topic that can sometimes be met with resistance. Sometimes just saying the phrase “climate change” can create barriers in an otherwise productive conversation. So, we have a challenge for you – Can you activate someone to care about the changing climate without ever saying the phrase “climate change?” Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, world-renowned climate scientist and professor at Texas Tech University, often does this by asking people, “Do you think the weather is getting weirder?” We would like you to write a speech or record yourself giving a speech about the realities of climate change without ever saying “climate change” or “global warming.” This is more than a simple ‘find and replace exercise’: your speech can discuss the myriad of devastating effects climate change is already causing or address the root causes of climate change. Try to target a specific audience for your speech and consider in advance your audience’s social, cultural, political, or personal perspectives on climate change. This speech should be presented more like a conversation than a lecture! Think and reflect on how you might be listening to their concerns, fears, or questions, too. Try to meet your audience where they’re at: think about what values are important to them and where those values intersect your own. Lead with empathy and find common ground! Please check out the important resources below for how to have a productive conversation about climate change (without saying those last two words!)

Written speeches should be 1 to 2 pages in length (size 11 or 12 font, 1.15 or 1.5 spacing). Videos should be between 2 and 4 minutes in length. We suggest uploading your video on YouTube as an unlisted video or uploading it to a Google Drive folder. Share the link with us by copying it and pasting it into a Word Doc. Be sure to include a list of resources you used.

Entry Requirements:

Deliver to the high school programs coordinator at Phipps via email:

  • Challenge Entry Form, include the school name and the participating students’ names.
  • One of the following:
    • A link to a video between 2 and 4 minutes in length
    • A written speech that is 1 to 2 pages in length, size 11 or 12 font, 1.15 or 1.5 spacing
  • Works Cited or Sources list


Additional longer reading:

  • All We Can Save: Truth, Courage and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, by Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Katharine K. Wilkinson

  • Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe

  • Grades Nine – Twelve

    • 15.4.12.G Create an advanced digital project using sophisticated design and appropriate software/applications.

    • 15.4.12.A Apply the creative and productive use of emerging technologies for educational and personal success.

    • 15.3.12.H Evaluate presentations for language, proper techniques and media choices.

    • 15.3.12.S Evaluate electronic communication options based on need.

    • 15.3.12.I Synthesize information gathered from multiple sources (e.g., digital, print, face to face).

    • 15.2.12.O Formulate and demonstrate strategies for working with diverse populations.

    • 9.1.12.E Delineate a unifying theme through the production of a work of art that reflects skills in media processes and techniques.

    • CC.3.5.9-10.A Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

    • CC.3.5.11-12.G Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

    • CC.3.5.11-12.I Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.

    • CC.3.5.11-12.B Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.

    • 4.1.10.A Examine the effects of limiting factors on population dynamics.

      • Analyze possible causes of population fluctuations.

      • Explain the concept of carrying capacity in an ecosystem.

      • Describe how organisms become classified as threatened or endangered.

      • Describe how limiting factors cause organisms to become extinct.

    • 4.1.10.B Explain the consequences of interrupting natural cycles.

    • 4.1.10.D Research practices that impact biodiversity in specific ecosystems

    • 4.1.10.E Analyze how humans influence the pattern of natural changes (e.g. primary / secondary succession and desertification) in ecosystems over time.

    • 4.1.12.A Analyze the significance of biological diversity in an ecosystem. Explain how species adapt to limiting factors in an ecosystem.Analyze the differences between natural causes and human causes of extinction. Research wildlife management laws and their effects on biodiversity.

    • 4.1.12.B Research solutions to problems caused by interrupting natural cycles.

    • 4.1.12.C Research how humans affect energy flow within an ecosystem. Describe the impact of industrial, agricultural, and commercial enterprises on an ecosystem

    • 4.1.12.E Research solutions addressing human impacts on ecosystems over time.

    • 4.3.10.B Analyze how humans manage and distribute natural resources.

      • Describe the use of a natural resource with an emphasis on the environmental consequences of extracting, processing, transporting, using, and disposing of it.

      • Analyze the impact of technology on the management, distribution, and disposal of natural resources.

    • 4.3.12.A Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable and nonrenewable resources. Explain how consumption rate affects the sustainability of resource use. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable resources such as solar power, wind power, and biofuels.

    • 4.3.12.B Analyze factors that influence the local, regional, national, and global availability of natural resources. Compare the use of natural resources in different countries. Analyze the social, economic, and political factors that affect the distribution of natural resources (e.g., wars, political systems, classism, racism).

    • 4.5.10.A Explain how public policy encourages or discourages the sustainable use of natural resources. Research laws and policies that address the sustainable use of natural resources (e.g., solid and liquid waste management, industry, agriculture and enterprise).

    • 4.5.12.A Research how technology influences the sustainable use of natural resources.


    Other Possible Standards (depending on the direction of the speech): 

    • 4.5.10.C Analyze real-world data and explain how point and non-point source pollution can be detected and eliminated. Compare and contrast the environmental effects of different industrial strategies.
    • 4.5.10.D Evaluate various methods of managing waste as related to economic, environmental, and technological factors.
    • 4.2.12.C Analyze the effects of policies and regulations at various governmental levels on water quality. Assess the intended and unintended effects of public polices and regulations relating to water quality.
    • 4.3.12.A Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable and nonrenewable resources.
      • Explain how consumption rate affects the sustainability of resource use.
      • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using renewable resources such as solar power, wind power, and biofuels.





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