Challenge 1: Botanical Beauties

For Individuals or Groups (2–5 students per group) — Maximum points: 200 (100 per entry; 2 entries per school)

YOUR CHALLENGE: Our perception of plants and what we define as beautiful has fascinated philosophers and researchers throughout the ages. A recent study found that even botanists were more inclined to research flashy plants as opposed to their ordinary counterparts. To redefine our standard of botanical beauty, photograph a nondescript, often overlooked plant to visually capture its beauty. Photographs should include a written description detailing what features make it distinguishable and beautiful. Downloadable PDF

ENTRY SUBMISSION: Wednesday, October 20, 2021 by 5:00 pm

Electronically submit the following:

Uploaded PDF file to entry form includes:

  • Photographs
  • Description
  • Bibliography
✓  Entry Requirements:
 Entry must be labeled with school name, student name(s)
 Photograph, written description and bibliography must be saved as a single pdf file and uploaded on entry form. PDF file name must include school name and student name
 Photograph must feature a nondescript, often overlooked plant that redefines our standard of botanical beauty
 Original photos may be color or black-and-white with limited editing permitted
 Photograph must be in .jpg or .png format and must be at least 1,600 pixels wide (if a horizontal image) or 1,600 (if a vertical image). There is a maximum file size of 50 MB per image. Images should be in RGB or sRGB format. Computer-generated designs will not be accepted
 Typed description must be maximum of two pages, double-spaced, and include: its natural history and details on what features make it distinguishable and beautiful
 Bibliography citing a minimum of 2 sources, following MLA or APA format
 On-time entry submission (late entries may not receive points)

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 1 Evaluation Sheet

This Challenge meets various state standards, visit Challenge 1 Benchmarks

Nature: Flashy plants draw outsize share of scientists’ attention
Wired: Scientist keep ignoring ugly plants. That’s bad
Adamo et al. 2021: Plant scientist’s research attention is skewed towards colourful, conspicuous and broadly distributed flowers
Botanical Art and Artists: Famous Botanical Photographers