Challenge 4: Million Orchid Project

For Groups — Maximum points: 350 (150 for data, 100 for each entry; 2 entries per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is working to bring rare native orchids back into the public landscapes of South Florida. The Million Orchid Project is a massive student driven conservation initiative and natural experiment that allows us to make discoveries and address important questions related to propagation and re-establishment in the environment. This year, you will study the “heat island effect” on growth and survivorship of orchids in different microclimates across your schoolyard. You will create a landscape design featuring orchids outplanted in different microclimates. Downloadable PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Monday, March 13, 2023 to Sunday, March 19, 2023

Electronically submit the following:

Delivered to Fairchild in person or via certified mail:

  • Landscape Design
  • Written Description
✓  Data Requirements:
 Monthly data and observations must be reported on Google Sheet and iNaturalist project
 All appropriate data fields complete and valid
 Monthly data sharing via Twitter or Instagram with @MillionOrchid and hashtag of your school name (credit not given to social media posts without both tags)
 On-time data entry submission (late entries may not receive points)
✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must be labeled with school name, student(s) name, and scientific name of chosen plant species
 Illustration must feature a native orchid from Fairchild’s Million Orchid Project (no text included in main design)
 Maximum size 12” X 16”, incorporating original hand-rendered or computer generated imagery on white unlined paper (no matting or frame) or graph paper (no matting or frame)
 Entry may be done in color using pen, fine-point markers, colored pencils, water color paint (no pastels or glitter) or computer

Written description clearly explains the local microclimate and how various abiotic factors affect growth and survivorship (250 word maximum)

 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

REQUIRED TEACHER WORKSHOP: SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2022 during Launch Brunch from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Visit our Teacher Workshops page for more information. Available spaces will be filled on a first-come, first served basis.
*This workshop will occur as part of the Teacher’s Launch Brunch Workshop. Materials will be distributed at a later date.

Bring your class on a virtual field trip at Fairchild. Please visit Explorer Field Trip Programs for more information.

For more information on how your submission will be evaluated, see Challenge 4 Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 4 Benchmarks

MOP Protocols – NEW! ADDED ON SEPT. 7, 2022.
Plant Care Sheets on The Million Orchid Project webpage.
Landscape design sketch in PLAN view.

iNaturalist RESOURCES
Getting started with iNaturalist
A Teachers Guide to iNaturalist
Video Tutorials

Intro to Orchid Biology (video)
Orchid Life Cycle
Go Orchid website developed by the North American Orchid Conservation Center
Atlas of Florida Plants
USDA Plant Database
Florida Native Plant Society
The Institute for Regional Conservation