Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Log Number: MP-00-12-0017-12

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will expand the successful Fairchild Challenge (FC) to additional partner sites and provide intensive training for current partner sites. The FC is an innovative approach to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education that identifies and encourages talented young scientists through a multidisciplinary approach and competition. The FC has proven to be a replicable model for botanic gardens, science centers, zoos, and nature centers that fosters students who are solution-oriented stewards of the environment. The program will address two key needs within informal education institutions: 1) finding effective tools to increase STEM capacity of museums throughout the country with the goal of training a new generation of professionals in environmental science and 2) building a community of like-minded professionals through ongoing professional development that will increase public value in the communities they serve. The museum hopes to directly impact twelve museums through formal training and twenty more through informal recruitment sessions at professional conferences. Project activities include the recruitment of three new institutions to the program, as well as offering current and new FC partners professional development opportunities, such as a series of online workshops, site-specific training, and two summit meetings.