Welcome to the middle school challenge page for Challenge 2 of the Fairchild Challenge! Read below to find challenge information, entry requirements, resources and more for the challenge.

Challenge 2: Environmental Justice and Fine Arts

Title: Harmony in Hues: Murals for Climate Justice
For individuals or groups | Maximum points: 200

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

Download challenge rubric here

Your Challenge:

Climate-change related issues can pop up in ways and places we don’t expect, even in many of our own neighborhoods. The Environmental Justice movement is working to combat the unfair and unjust treatment of marginalized communities that are disproportionately impacted by these climate-change and environmental issues. Unfortunately, many communities within Pennsylvania, and across the world, still lack access to several basic necessities like clean air, healthy food from convenient grocery store locations, uncontaminated water, public transportation, sidewalks for safe walking conditions, litter-free green spaces, refuge during extreme weather events, and protection from excess hot or cold temperatures. These conditions are what might be referred to as environmental issues or climate-related impacts. But change is on the way!

Your challenge is to observe and identify an environmental issue or climate-related impact that is having a significant effect on your community and develop a solution. Design a scaled-down mural that tells the story of the issue or impact you have identified and what actions can be taken to combat it to improve your community in the future. Murals are a great way to tell a story for many people to see. In addition to the mural, please include a 3-paragraph paper detailing how your mural represents a problem, the effect it’s having on your community, the solution(s) you are proposing, and where you might put your mural so that everyone can see it!

Your mural should be a hand-rendered or digitally drawn original two-dimensional piece of art that is either 8.5” x 11” or 16” x 20” inches. Select pieces will be displayed in Phipps’ CSL Gallery. Please include a Works Cited of your sources in MLA or APA format.

Entry Requirements:

  • Challenge Entry Form
  • A maximum of 3 original artworks of a mural that represents a climate justice issue in your community (Include the school name and the participating students’ names on the back of the artwork).
  • Artwork should be either 8.5” x 11” or 16” x 20” inches.
  • Typed description (3 paragraphs) of your chosen issue (including the issue, its impact, your solutions, and where you would like to put the mural in your neighborhood).
  • Works Cited with at least 2 sources.

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 2 of the Middle School Fairchild Challenge

  • Grade Six – Eight

    • CC.3.5.6-8.A Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
    • CC.3.5.6-8.C Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
    • CC.3.5.6-8.E Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
    • CC.3.5.6-8.G Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
    • CC.3.5.6-8.H Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
    • CC.3.5.6-8.I Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
    • CC.3.6.6-8.C Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
    • CC.3.6.6-8.F Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
    • CC.3.6.6-8.G Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
    • CC.3.6.6-8.H Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis reflection, and research.
    • 3.1.7.A8 MODELS; Apply the appropriate models to show interactions among organisms in an environment.
    • 4.1.7.A Describe the relationships between biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem.
    • Compare and contrast different biomes and their characteristics
    • Describe symbiotic and predator/prey relationships
    • 4.1.7.D Explain how biological diversity relates to the viability of ecosystems.
    • Compare and contrast monoculture with diverse ecosystems.
    • Explain how biological diversity relates to the ability of an ecosystem to adapt to change.
    • Explain how an adaptation is an inherited, structure, function, or behavior that helps an organism survive and reproduce.
    • 4.1.7.E Identify factors that contribute to change in natural and human-made systems.
    • Explain the processes of primary and secondary succession in a given ecosystem.
    • 4.3.7.A Explain how products are derived from natural resources.
    • Describe the process of converting raw materials to consumer goods.
    • Differentiate between renewable and nonrenewable resources
    • 4.4.7.C Investigate resources, their relation to land use, and their impact on the food and fiber system.
    • 4.4.7.D Identify the positive and negative effects of technology used in agriculture and its effects on the food and fiber system and the environment over time.
    • 4.5.7.A Describe how the development of civilization affects the use of natural resources.
    •  Compare and contrast how people use natural resources in sustainable and non-sustainable ways throughout the world.
    • 4.5.7.B Describe the impact of pests in different geographic locations and techniques used to manage those pests.
    • Identify introduced species that are classified as pests in their new environments.
    • Research integrated pest management practices.
    • 4.5.7.C Explain how human actions affect the health of the environment.
    • Identify residential and industrial sources of pollution and their effects on environmental health.
    • 4.5.7.D Describe the wastes derived from using resources, how the waste is managed, and the potential impact on the environment.
    • 4.5.7.E Describe how length and degree of exposure to pollutants may affect human health.
    • Identify diseases/conditions that have been associated with exposure to pollutants
    • 4.2.8.C Describe how a diversity index is used to assess water quality.
    • 4.3.8.A Compare and contrast alternative sources of energy.
    • 4.4.8.A Identify and describe how food safety issues have impacted the food and fiber system.
    • 4.5.8.A Explain how Best Management Practices (BMP) can be used to mitigate environmental problems.
    • 4.5.8.C Describe how humans can reduce pollution.
    • 4.5.8.D Compare and contrast waste generated from various sources of energy.  

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