Botanic Gardens Conservation International
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The Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Competition 2012/2013

Plants and Water 


2013 is the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation.  We live on a blue planet, yet only 2.5% of all water is fresh.  Found in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and underground sources and locked up in glaciers, fresh water is a vital resource and essential for life on earth.  Most people know how important water is, however few understand the critical links between plants and water.  Plants regulate the water cycle; they distribute and purify the planet’s water and through transpiration carry water from the soil into the atmosphere 

This year’s Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Option is for students to discover, through interviews, what people know about plants and water.  We want students to think up ways to better inform the public about these important links and to challenge possible misconceptions.  Student reflections and findings will help launch an international public awareness campaign.

Students are asked to:

• think up three questions related to the theme plants and water
• interview at least 10 people from their community.  These people could be friends, family, neighbours or teachers.
•  Document their responses in video, audio or written format
• Write a review (500 words) examining any misconceptions people might have. 
• Put forward ideas for challenging or correcting these misconceptions


Winning interviews will be showcased on BGCI’s and the Fairchild Challenge websites

How does my site get involved?

The Fairchild Challenge/BGCI Global Competition is open to students between the ages of 11 -19.

A) If you already host the Fairchild Challenge (FC) you can select this Global Option (GO) as one of your options.  To do this contact Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden for more information.

B) If you are a botanic garden that does not currently host the Fairchild Challenge then:

  1. Contact BGCI and tell us that you intend to participate in the Global Challenge (GC).  This will give us an idea of how many entries to expect, plus we can send you updates!
  2. Contact your local schools and invite them to participate in the Global Challenge. Send them this link on 'Guidelines for Schools'.
  3. Schools submit their two top entries to your site by Friday 12th April 2013.
  4. Set up a judging panel at your site (three people is sufficient) and select five top entries for submission to BGCI. Entries need to be judged on
    • Creativity of the questions and responses – for example, do they offer new ways of looking at the relationship between plants and water?
    • How engaged the interviewees are (if using video or audio)
    • Quality of ideas for challenging or addressing misconceptions
  5. Certificate templates will be available to download from BGCI’s website, for sites to present to winners.  Participating sites may also like to offer other prizes as incentives.
  6. Submit your site’s top five entries to BGCI by Friday 26th April 2013.  These can be submitted electronically.  If your files are above 5MB in size, please contact us and we will send you a link to our dropbox.
  7. The winners of the Global Challenge will be announced on BGCI’s and The Fairchild Challenge’s websites in May 2013.


Additional information: