About Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is one of the world's preeminent tropical botanical gardens, internationally renowned for botanical science programs, conservation, horticulture, education programs and cultural outreach. Fairchild combines the beauty of its location - the only region in the continental U.S. where tropical plants can be grown outdoors year-round - with its role as a living museum, laboratory, center of learning, and conservation research facility. Fairchild also plays an important role in preserving biodiversity; the garden's scientists and staff are contributors to an intense global effort to identify, understand and conserve plants and endangered plant species. Fairchild is a cultural and community hub working with thousands of volunteers and hosting family-friendly events like the chocolate, mango and orchid festivals and the renowned art and sculpture program.
Growing Beyond Earth
Fairchild partners with NASA’s Exploration Research and Technology Programs to create classroom-based botany activities for grades 6-12. Growing Beyond Earth is a series of experiments designed to advance NASA research on growing plants on spacecraft. Students evaluate varieties of edible plants, including rare tropical vegetables, in equipment similar to the growing environment on the International Space Station. Through their research, students have identified edible plants that are good candidates for growing in space. NASA scientists are using student data to plan future missions.
BioTECH Magnet High School
Fairchild partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to create the first high school in the United States that allows students to specialize in botany. Opened in 2014, BioTECH @ Richmond is a public magnet high school with a maximum enrollment of 800. The curriculum emphasizes plant and animal biology, with an option for students in grades 11 and 12 to choose a botany track that includes university-level plant science coursework and independent research. In all grades, students use Fairchild's plant collections, classrooms, and labs. The goal is to place graduating students in higher education plant science programs.
About The Million Orchid Project
Fairchild is propagating one million rare, native orchids and planting them in urban landscapes throughout metropolitan Miami-Dade County. Orchids are grown from seed in a micropropagation lab, with tremendous assistance from volunteers, graduate students, and K-12 students. The project is unique in its scale, its experimental nature, its focus on public spaces, and its involvement of the local community from the beginning. We have enlisted more than 100 schools to grow orchids in their classrooms and surrounding neighborhoods. We operate STEMLab, a mobile orchid propagation lab built within the frame of a decommissioned school bus, bringing state-of-the-art equipment to local middle schools.
The Fairchild Challenge
The Fairchild Challenge, inaugurated in 2002, is the Garden’s flagship education program. Reaching more than 250 elementary, middle, and high schools in South Florida, the Fairchild Challenge serves more than 150,000 students each year. It is a competitive, multidisciplinary program consisting of a series of botanically themed activities. Teachers are trained at Fairchild, and conduct the activities in their classrooms. Students are given opportunities to gather and analyze scientific data and produce works of creative expression. They learn important concepts in science while gaining an understanding and appreciation of scientific careers.