You are here

Do you want to make your school grounds more beautiful? Are you ready to create a new space that provides beauty, a place to learn and a great location to attract wildlife? Think like a scientist and design like a landscape architect by participating in this Longwood Gardens STEAM design challenge. Design a garden space at your school to attract birds using your talents in art and science. The top 10 teams chosen will be required to build a model of their design (with a moving component) and create a 5-minute video about their garden design. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top three teams to assist in bringing their garden design to life on their school grounds.

Download STEAM Challenge pdf

To Enter

Step 1: Form a group of up to five students, grades 6–12.

Step 2: Participate in the Cornell Citizen Science Project: Celebrate Urban Birds.

Step 3: Submit the application form, along with your team’s garden design description, design layout, and citizen science data form.

  • Be sure to read all the requirements and the official rules section before submitting your application. Applications are due January 15, 2021 by 5:00 pm.
  • Teams that are chosen to participate in the final round will be notified by e-mail by January 22, 2021. E-mails will be sent to the team’s teacher/advisor.

Step 4: Top 10 teams selected for final round:

  • Build a model of their bird garden.
  • Submit a video about their model by April 16, 2021 by 5:00 pm.


What grade level is appropriate for Take Flight! A Bird Garden STEAM Design Challenge?
This contest is designed for 6th–12th grade students.

Who is this contest meant for?
This contest is meant for any 6th–12th grade student to participate in. We welcome public schools, private schools, charter schools, cyber schools, home school co-op groups and after school groups (Scouts, etc.) to participate.

Do I have to see my students in person to participate?
We have prepared this contest to be done with students either in person or virtually. So, no matter if you are seeing your students in person, virtually, or hybrid, students are still able to participate!

What if my students are not located close to Longwood Gardens?
No problem! We have designed the contest to be completed in your space and the contest submission pieces are designed to be done via video submission.

What are the deadlines?

  • Contest applications are due by January 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm.
  • The top 10 teams chosen from the applications will need to submit their contest videos by April 16, 2021 at 5:00 pm.

Additional Questions?
Contact Heather Drzal, Director of School and Youth Programs, at