Middle School Eco-Challenge Gets Students into Natural Beauty

by Melissa Harding

DSC_2906

This morning 225 middle school students from over 25 local schools came to Phipps to participate in the Eco-Challenge, a multidisciplinary environmental outreach event co-run by Phipps and the Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3. Students worked in teams of four, learning about their “food carbon footprint”, creating beautiful mobiles out of plant materials, and going on a sustainability scavenger hunt through the Conservatory. The weather was beautiful and students had a great time working and learning both indoors and out. This was the second year the Eco-Challenge program has been offered to middle schools, bringing with it an incredible increase in attendance.

One of the most popular challenges involved using plant materials from Phipps to create beautiful mobiles. To see some of the gorgeous artwork that students made, check out the slideshow below!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This event also serves as a kick-off for the Fairchild Challenge, a year-long environmental education program for both middle and high school students sponsored through the Fairchild Tropical and Botanic Gardens in Miami, Florida. In this multidisciplinary program, older students participate in a variety of sustainability-based “challenges” that focus on art, writing, music, and more. Schools choose to participate in one or all of seven challenges that take place over the course of the school year. At the end of the spring, monetary awards are given to the winning schools for use in their environmental science departments.

Tomorrow we welcome high school students to Phipps for their own Eco-Challenge for the fourth year in a row. It is a pleasure hosting these great kids every year and we are so excited to see the program grow!

The above photos were taken by Christie Lawry.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 199 other followers

%d bloggers like this: