And the winners are…

For the Middle School Fairchild Challenge at Phipps:

3rd Place ($250):

Carson Middle School

J.E. Harrison Middle School

Keystone Oaks Middle School

2nd Place ($500):

Shaffer Elementary School 6th Grade

1st Place ($1000):

Shaler Area Middle School


And for the High Schools:

3rd Place ($250):

Hampton High School

2nd Place (tie- $500 @):

North Allegheny Senior High School

Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy

1st Place ($1000):

Shaler Area High School

Congratulations to these schools and to all the participants in the 2013-2014 Fairchild Challenge for raising your awareness of the nature around you and becoming active stewards of the environment!



Top winners to be announced…

…at our Awards Ceremonies:

Tuesday, May 27, 6- 8 p.m., for Middle Schools

Wednesday, May 28, 6 – 8 p.m., for High Schools

Teachers, administrators, students and parents are all invited to help us celebrate the achievements of the Fairchild Challenge participants.  More than 1800 area students became more aware of their environment and discovered sustainable solutions to environmental issues through a year of challenges. Come help us celebrate!! (And please don’t forget to RSVP before May 20.)




Sticks and stones and bottles and cans= Art

Owl 1st PlaceFairchild Challenge high school students found that you can really produce meaningful works of art by combining found objects with natural materials that usually go unnoticed.  Look on the ground – find a twig or some moss, throw in a couple of pop cans or bottle tops and some paper and let the inspiration overtake you.  That’s what happened for those who entered Challenge #7.  This amazing little owl took 1st Place, and here’s a list of all the winners:

1st Place: Doryan Ward, Highlands High School

2nd Place: Megan-Rose Brittner, Shaler Area High School

3rd Place : Bekah Kellner, Angela Klinger and Alex Grumski, North Allegheny Senior High School

Honorable Mention: Jerry Brown, Gateway Senior High School



Middle Schools Take Action for the Environment

From promoting recycling and energy conservation in every classroom to educating  younger children and peers about plants and environmental issues, middle schoolers became productive activists over the course of the school year.  The many projects devised and implemented by Fairchild Challenge participants were documented in the final middle school challenge, Environmental Action. Every project was valuable and inspiring, so congratulations to all! Here are the winners of Challenge #6:

1st Place: Shaffer Elementary 6th Grade

2nd Place: Shaler Area Middle School

3rd Place : Woodland Hills Academy

Honorable Mention:

Carson Middle School

Keystone Oaks Middle School

Marshall Middle School

Tune into the Saturday Light Brigade on May 10th at 10:35 a.m. to hear details from the winners at 88.3 fm or

HS Biophilic Art on Display at Phipps

100_4229We received beautiful and meaningul artwork in response to Challenge #4B- Biophilic Art when we asked high school students to make visual the essence of “biophilia.”  Here at Phipps Conservatory we were so impressed that we  had the entries framed, and they are now on display in our Green Gallery space in one of the greenest buildings in the world, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (our new building just behind the Conservatory).  Thanks to all the student artists for loaning us their work for the public to admire!

High School Challenge #7: Call to your Inner Artist

Bug sculptureHigh School students:  It’s the final challenge of the year!  We saved the most fun and creative challenge for last.  We’ve invited each Fairchild Challenge school to submit two sculptures that reflect something in the natural world.  The catch is the materials you choose.  We challenge you to make your sculpture from a mixture of natural materials that you find outside and plain old trash (recyclables, resusables, and things generally thought of as garbage).  For all the requirements, see HS Challenges in Depth, Challenge #7.

By the way, the due date for this challenge has been moved to Wednesday, May 7th – to give you an extra weekend to create your work of art!

High Schools take on environmental action

Growing food for those in need, recycling, composting, creating green spaces – these were among the beneficial projects that competing schools took on for Challenge #6. Congratulations to all of you for becoming environmental educators and responsible citizens.  Here are the winners of the HS Environmental Action Challenge:

1st Place: Shaler Area High School

2nd Place: Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy

3rd Place : North Allegheny Senior High School