Program Guidelines and Policies

Registration: All individual teachers must fill out a Teacher Registration Form.

Challenge Entry Forms: Each registered school (not individual student) must submit one completed entry form by the specified due date for each of the Challenges in which they compete.  

Student Work: Each entry must be clearly marked with the student(s) and school names. Entries should follow the specified requirements outlined for each Challenge. Participants are expected to follow a strict honor code. All work must be original or from a referenced source. Plagiarism will result in disqualification of all work submitted by the student(s) involved for the entire program year, and all accumulated points will be nullified.

Deadlines: Entries must be received by the published deadlines; due dates are strictly enforced. Late entries will cause point deduction, are not eligible for first place, and may not be judged. Entries are accepted in person, by mail (or email, when specified), or by library drop-off (when specified). We will gladly accept early entries.

  • Drop Off: Entries may be dropped off at Fairchild during regular hours (seven days a week, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, unless otherwise specified). 

  • Certified Mail: When sending entries via USPS or any other mail service, clearly label and address envelope or parcel to “The Fairchild Challenge”. Please make sure to obtain a tracking number.

Earning Points: Schools should encourage as many students as possible to attempt each of the diverse Challenges. Each Challenge has a maximum number of student entries that may be submitted to Fairchild for judging; additional entries will not be accepted. Schools should always try to submit the maximum number of entries allowed per Challenge in order to earn as many points as possible. 

Entry Evaluation & Judging: Teachers are encouraged to review each Challenge evaluation form prior to submitting student entries. Third-party independent judges use the evaluation criteria listed in the specific requirements for each Challenge. All results are final; completed judges’ evaluation forms are not shared.

Program Evaluation: Fairchild Challenge staff evaluates our program to see what is being done well, where improvements can be made, and to make sure that participants are benefiting from the program. Typically, this is done by conducting surveys, interviews, and/or observations to learn more about participants’ experiences. With respect for your time, efforts are made to minimize the time needed for evaluation activities. Throughout all evaluation activities teacher and student privacy is protected; individual responses are confidential. By registering for the Fairchild Challenge you agree to participate in program evaluation activities. 

Scores: Schools will receive their scores by e-mail following participation in Challenges. We do not release other schools’ scores or school rankings during the program year. 

School Recognition: All schools that participate in The Fairchild Challenge are recognized at the awards ceremonies. Schools that accrue the minimum number of designated points will earn The Fairchild Challenge Award. The top scoring schools are awarded up to $1,500 to support continuation of their environmental programs. Schools earning the Fairchild Challenge Award for five (5) or ten (10) years become a Fairchild Challenge “School of Excellence”.

Student and Teacher Recognition: Participation certificates for each Challenge will be sent to teachers for distribution to all participating students. Top-placing students and Special Merit winners for each Challenge will be recognized on our website and at the Awards Ceremony.

Student Materials: Winning entries will be on display at the Awards Ceremonies and can be picked up at the end of these events. All entries not claimed by June 7, 2024 will become property of Fairchild. Select entries may be used for Fairchild Challenge fundraising or other purposes. When submitting an entry, you must notify us in writing if you do not agree to these terms. Fairchild is not responsible for any materials lost, stolen or damaged.

Schools consent to Fairchild’s unrestricted use of student work and participants’ likenesses, including photographs and audio/visual recordings made of participants and/or their entries, at Fairchild or elsewhere. Student entries may be exhibited and/or published by Fairchild.