Welcome to The 2021-2022 Fairchild Challenge

The Fairchild Challenge Team has been and will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak and will make informed decisions on how to proceed as information becomes available. In order to best serve our participating teachers and students and provide the same rigor and integrity our participants have come to expect select modifications will be incorporated into the 2021-2022 Fairchild Challenge program year. Please be sure to visit each individual Challenge description page, and the teacher and student workshop pages for specific details.

The Fairchild Challenge is an award winning, interdisciplinary, environmental science competition designed to engage students of diverse interests, abilities, talents, and backgrounds to explore the natural world. The program has been recognized as a benchmark for exceptional STEM education and for empowering PreK–12th grade students to become the next generation of scientists, researchers, educated voters, policy makers, and environmentally-minded citizens.

The Fairchild Challenge in practice
The Fairchild Challenge takes place over the course of the academic year and offers an annual menu of activities (called Challenges) for individual students and groups. Schools can participate in any number of the annual Challenges. Best entries selected by the schools and submitted to Fairchild are evaluated by panels of independent judges and awarded points based on the judges’ scores. Mindful of teachers’ workloads, The Fairchild Challenge dovetails with public school curricula and is aligned with the state and national academic standards.

Fairchild is committed to making this program accessible to all interested students in the region, regardless of their schools’ resources. The Fairchild Challenge encourages school participation with incentives such as grants for school gardens, transportation subsidies, seeds or plants, specialized workshops, professional development, and additional resources. Schools requiring additional assistance can contact The Fairchild Challenge staff for assistance or request a visit to your school to explain the program in detail.

What is your goal?
Your goal is to collaborate, explore, and have FUN while earning points for your school to receive The 2021–2022 Fairchild Challenge Award. Our Awards Ceremony will take place during garden hours on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at Fairchild. Schools receiving The Fairchild Challenge Award for five or ten consecutive years become a Fairchild Challenge School of Excellence and receive a banner to hang proudly at their school. Additionally, the top-scoring schools will be awarded cash prizes of up to $1,500 to support environmental programs at their school.

What is our goal?
Our goal is to offer students a clear educational pathway that encourages environmental stewardship, develops leadership in environmental science and diversifies the scientific workforce.