More than 200,000 primary school pupils will be exploring the world of food and farming in one of the country’s biggest virtual classrooms this week, as the NFU broadcasts live lessons to celebrate British Science Week.
Children will be able to put their Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) knowledge into practise as they tackle topics as varied as the lifecycles of farm animals and plants, to how future technology will benefit the environment. The lessons are designed and delivered by the NFU’s education team and members.
Welsh sheep farmer Sioned Davies is kicking off the NFU’s Science Farm Live programme by bringing the lambing shed into classrooms where children will have front row seats to experience lambs being born.
Following lessons will include:
- How robots and technology can help solve farming problems, with engineering experts from Harper Adams University
- ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ with Deb Howe, founder of Eggucation
- A farming themed climate science show hosted by Welsh science Museum Techniquest
- Vet school with renowned farm vet Navaratnam Partheeban
Minette Batters, NFU president, said: “The sheer number of students signed up to our live lessons demonstrates the huge appetite from children and teachers alike to learn STEM subjects through agriculture, and the NFU’s education programme is a fantastic way to deliver this.
“The UK’s multiple lockdowns have been really difficult for our educators. By switching to a virtual model we have been able to create programmes and resources that make it much easier for teachers to deliver really effective STEM learning, whether children are at home or in the classroom.
“Inserting farming and rural life into the classroom is hugely important as it connects the nation’s future with its heritage. Holding virtual live lessons enables children to have that exciting farming experience, even if they aren’t able to physically visit a farm, and they will provide fantastic content for their first week back at school.
“These lessons also come a time when there is a growing focus on climate-friendly, high welfare food production, so it’s fantastic that schools want to provide their pupils with greater understanding about how UK farmers produce the food on their plates.”
Sioned Davies, who will deliver the lesson on lambing, said: “As someone who is at the start of their career in agriculture, it’s really exciting to share the opportunities within farming with the next generation. It’s even better when you get to open up a whole new world to children who may have never been on a farm, or perhaps even to the countryside.
“I have learned so much through my agricultural journey and continue to do so, for example about how we can balance food production with environmental delivery. By sharing my experience I hope to inspire school children to follow a career in agriculture – after all, life in farming is a constant education.”
More details about the Science Farm Live programme, including how to sign up, can be found here. Recordings of the lessons will be available shortly after broadcast.