Welcome to the middle 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 Video Challenge

Title: "Intergenerational Interviews"
For individuals or groups

Note: Entries will be considered for the Patti Burns Prize for Excellence in Communication and Media, a monetary prize of $500 awarded to schools for science and sustainability initiatives, instead of being awarded points towards the Fairchild Challenge.

Due: Fri., Jan. 12, 2024 by 5 p.m.

Download the Challenge 3 Rubric

Your Challenge:

In our rapidly changing world, discussions about climate change and related issues have become increasingly vital. However, engaging in these conversations with individuals from different generations can often be challenging or intimidating. In this challenge you are encouraged to tackle this difficulty head-on by initiating meaningful dialogues with older generations through an interview format. By delving into how terms like “climate change” and “global warming” were understood in the past and exploring their perspectives on environmental protection, you can infer and uncover the nuances and evolution of these discussions. Additionally, having these kinds of conversations creates a platform to become more educated advocates for change, bridging generational perspectives and paving the way for a more informed and sustainable future. Your interview should take place with an older family member, friend, or community member (preferably 50 years old or older). Invite them to participate in an interview about environmental changes they've witnessed during their lifetime and craft a set of engaging questions that will guide your conversation. Consider questions like: “How have you noticed shifts in the environment during your lifetime?”, “What were your thoughts and feelings about these changes when you were my age?”, “Have you observed any changes in how society views the environment over the years?”. Create a comfortable and relaxed setting for your interview, either in person or via video call. After the interview, take time to reflect on what you've learned. Examine the differences and similarities between your interviewee's experiences and perspectives and your own. Consider how societal attitudes, technological advancements, and scientific knowledge have influenced these generational differences. Lead with empathy and find common ground! Written interviews 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.

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: Submit to the high school programs coordinator at Phipps via electronic submission to amule@phipps.conservatory.org:

  • 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

School Submits: Challenge Entry Form, Video or written speech, resources list

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

  • Grade Six – Eight

    CC.3.5.6-8.A Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

    CC.3.6.6-8.A Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. • Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

    • Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

    CC.3.6.6-8.B Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.

    • Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    • Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
    • Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
    • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented. Note: Students’ narrative skills continue to grow in these grades. The Standards require that students be able to incorporate narrative elements effectively into arguments and informative/explanatory texts. In history/social studies, students must be able to incorporate narrative accounts into their analyses of individuals or events of historical import. In science and technical subjects, students must be able to write precise enough descriptions of the step-by-step procedures they use in their investigations or technical work that others can replicate them and (possibly) reach the same results.

    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.

    CC.1.2.6.G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

    CC.1.2.6.J Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

    CC.1.2.6.K Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade-level reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies and tools.

    CC.1.2.7.G Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g. how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

    CC.1.2.8.G Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g. print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

    4.1.7.E Identify factors that contribute to change in natural and human-made systems.

    4.3.7.B Explain the distribution and management of natural resources.

    • Differentiate between resource uses: conservation, preservation, and exploitation

    4.4.7.A Describe how agricultural practices, the environment, and the availability of natural resources are related.

    4.5.6.D Identify reasons why organisms become threatened, endangered, and extinct.


    • Understand how theories are developed.
    • Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations and evaluate the appropriateness of questions.
    • Design and conduct a scientific investigation and understand that current scientific knowledge guides scientific investigations.
    • Describe relationships using inference and prediction.
    • Use appropriate tools and technologies to gather, analyze, and interpret data and understand that it enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations.
    • Develop descriptions, explanations, and models using evidence and understand that these emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments and are based on scientific principles, models, and theories.
    • Analyze alternative explanations and understanding that science advances through legitimate skepticism.
    • Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
    • Understand that scientific investigations may result in new ideas for study, new methods or procedures for an investigation, or new technologies to improve data collection.

    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.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.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

    4.5.8.A Explain how Best Management Practices (BMP) can be used to mitigate environmental problems.

    4.5.8.D Compare and contrast waste generated from various sources of energy.


    • Compare and contrast scientific theories.
    • Know that both direct and indirect observations are used by scientists to study the natural world and universe.
    • Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations.
    • Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence.
    • Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and models.

    6.1.7.B Compare decisions made because of limited resources and unlimited wants. Describe how resources are combined to produce different goods and services.

    6.1.7.D Explain how positive and negative incentives affect behavior.

    6.1.8.B Compare decisions made because of limited resources and unlimited wants. Analyze the resources that are combined to create goods and services.

    6.1.8.C Compare choices to determine the best action.

    7.2.6-8.A Describe the characteristics of places and regions.

    7.3.6-8.A Describe the human characteristics of places and regions using the following criteria: Population, Culture, Settlement, Economic activities, Political activities

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

    44.3.8.A Compare and contrast alternative sources of energy.

    4.5.6.A Examine how historical events have shaped the sustainable use of natural resources.

    5.4.6-7.A Identify how countries have varying interests.

    5.4.8.C Explain how common problems (e.g., natural disasters, ethnic conflict, environmental concerns) are addressed by organizations and governments.

    5.2.6.D Explain why participation in government and civic life is important.

    5.3.6.G Identify individual interest groups and how they impact government.

    5.3.6-7.H Describe the influence of mass media on society.

    6.1.6.B Compare ways that people meet their needs with how they meet their wants. Describe how resources are combined to produce different goods and services

    6.1.6.C Define opportunity cost and describe the opportunity cost of personal choice.

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