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Orangutan Sugi 30


The Future of Conservation

The award-winning Albert M. Greenfield UNLESS Contest has empowered thousands of K-12 students to take action for wildlife. This year-long, project-based contest encourages students to create real solutions to environmental issues in their lives. Since the start of the contest, the Zoo has engaged more than 55,000 schoolchildren from more than 400 schools in the Delaware Valley region as part of this initiative, and have reached between 2 and 15 million people each year. Now it’s your turn to take action and inspire others! Registration is open from October 1 to November 30.

Directly in line with state and national standards, participating students will have the opportunity to think critically about a global environmental issue that is impacting both global and local wild animals. After registering for the contest, participating classes learn about conservation topics and make a plan to take action for wildlife. Over the course of their project, groups are invited to participate in virtual classes and a visit to the Zoo to meet Zoo professionals and receive support on their projects. Final project reports are reviewed by a panel of independent judges who choose the awardees.

The Albert M. Greenfield Foundation

Albert M. Greenfield emigrated to Philadelphia from the Ukraine in 1897. Throughout his life, he earned millions of dollars, lost it all in the Great Depression, and earned it again by taking on new challenges. He was instrumental in changing both the physical face of Philadelphia, with multiple buildings constructed under his real estate firm, and the political atmosphere of the region.

​Greenfield established the Foundation in 1953 to give back to the city that had given him so much, and distinctively, his philanthropy transcended religious and racial lines.  The Foundation now concentrates its grantmaking in Philadelphia, in the areas of arts and culture, higher education, hospitals, community development, and the environment, and requires clear objectives and measurable results. The Philadelphia Zoo is very proud to partner with the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation to offer the Unless Contest, which each year empowers approximately 1500 K-12th grade students to advocate for animals and their habitats.

America the Beautiful Campaign

In 2019, a report was published by a group of scientists who were trying to figure out the best course of action to take now to prevent to future climate crises. This report recommended, among other things, that all nations work together to formally protect 30% of their lands, waters, and ocean by the year 2030. Recognizing that “nature is essential to the health, well-being, and prosperity of every family and every community in America,” the America the Beautiful Campaign initiative encourages many stakeholders, including scientific experts, indigenous tribes, landowners, local officials, outdoor enthusiasts, and states, to work together to address the priorities and needs of all involved. This goal is known globally as the 30×30 campaign and many nations have pledged their support, including the United States.

Curriculum Standards

According to previous participants, the UNLESS Contest has helped teachers meet a variety of local and national curriculum standards:

  • PA Environment and Ecology: 4.3.2.A; 4.5.2.D; 4.2.6.C; 4.4.6.A; 4.5.6.D; 4.1.7.E; 4.5.7.C; 4.5.7.D; 4.1.8.D; 4.1.8.F; 4.5.8.A; 4.5.8.C; 4.5.8.D; 4.1.10.A; 4.1.10.B; 4.1.10.D; 4.1.10.E; 4.5.10.A; 4.5.10.D; 4.5.10.E; 4.1.12.A; 4.1.12.E; 4.5.12.C; 4.5.12.D
  • PA Science and Technology and Engineering: 3.1.1.A2; 3.1.3.A2; 3.4.3.A; 3.4.3.B; 3.4.3.C; 3.4.4.A; 3.4.4.B; 3.4.4.C; 3.4.5.A; 3.4.5.B; 3.4.5.C; 3.3.8.A2
  • NJ Standards: NJSLS-CKLS 9.4.2.CI.1; NJSLS-CKLS 9.4.2.CI.2; NJSLS-CKLS 9.4.2.CT.1; NJSLS-CKLS 9.4.2.CT.2; NJSLS-CKLS 9.4.2.CT.3
  • Mathematics: CC.2.4.1.A.4; CC.2.4.2.A.4; CC.2.4.3.A.4; CC.2.4.4.A.4; CC.2.4.5.A.2
  • Next Generation Science Standards: 3-LS2-1; 3-LS3-1; 3-LS3-2; 3-LS4-3; 3-LS4-4; 4-LS-1; 4-LS-2-1; 4-ESS3-1; 4-ESS3-2; 5-LS2-1; 5-ESS3-1; MS-ESS2-1; MS-ESS2-5; MS-ESS2-6; MS-ESS3-1; MS-ESS3-2; MS-ESS3-3; MS-ESS3-4; MS-ESS3-5; MS-LS2-1; MA-LS2-2; MS-LS2-4; MS-LS2-5; MS-ETS1-2; HS-LS2-7; HS-ESS2-1; HS-ESS2-2; HS-ESS2-4; HS-ESS2-6; HS-ESS3-1; HS-ESS3-3; HS-ESS3-4; HS-ESS3-6; HS-ETS1-1
Hoffmans two toed sloth

Register for the UNLESS Contest

Interested in participating in this year's UNLESS Contest? Registration is open from October 1 to November 30!

Register for UNLESS