Schoolchildren to show off farm invention designs to MPs

NFU President Minette Batters pictured at an NFU Education event
NFU President Minette Batters pictured at an NFU Education event

Nine winners of a major farming competition will showcase their designs to MPs in the House of Commons, where one overall champion will be decided.

The 'Farmvention' competition challenged primary schoolchildren to use Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects to design farm-related products.

These include designing a tractor of the future, creating a healthy British snack product and creating an environment for laying hens.

The competition, launched by the NFU, received over 1,000 entries from schools all across the country.

On Wednesday (13 March) the nine winners will showcase their designs to MPs, stakeholders and other winning schools in the House of Commons.

The overall champion will be decided by a judging panel led by NFU President Minette Batters.

Mrs Batters said: “This week is a critical week in Parliament, which could go down in history as one of the most defining times for Britain and for British farming. But educating our children about food, and about how farmers produce it, goes beyond today’s parliamentary activity.

“Agriculture is a high-tech industry and as the world changes it will need an increasing workforce of scientists, technicians, engineers and mathematicians.

“We set out with the aim of opening young eyes to the realities of British agriculture and the many exciting opportunities within the industry, and I’m proud to say we have done just that,” she said.

Farmvention has also provided innovative ways for schools to effectively teach STEM subjects.

The NFU said they were 'staggered' by the ingenuity and the use of new technologies in some of competition entries.

Mrs Batters added: “British farming has the potential for a fantastic future where we can continue to provide quality, affordable food for the nation, maintain our high production standards and care for the iconic British countryside, and this future starts with our children.

“By integrating food and farming into the primary curriculum we are opening the doors for potential career paths that could otherwise pass our young people by. They could be scientists, nutritionists, even members of Parliament. Or better yet, they could be farmers.”

The nine winners

• KS1 Tractor of the future: Settle C of E Primary, Settle, North East

• KS2L Tractor of the future: Afeefa Haroon – Ronald Ross Primary School, London, South East

• KS2U Tractor of the future: Tracticians – Armitage C of E Primary School, Manchester, North West

• Healthy Hens KS1: Class 2H – Glascote Academy, Tamworth, West Midlands

• Healthy Hens KS2L: Oscar Brownmoore - St. Aidan's VC Primary School, London, South East

• Healthy Hens KS2U: Emily Bailey – Bridgewater Primary School, Northampton, East Midlands

• A Great British Snack KS1: Dosbarth y Gleision – Ysgol Bro Idris, Dolgellau, Wales

• A Great British Snack KS2L: Toby Barribel – Wonersh and Shamley Green Primary School, Guildford, South East

• A Great British Snack KS2U: Team Fruity Flow – St John Fisher, Catholic Primary School, Coventry, West Midlands

The overall champion will win the grand prize of having their school turned into a farm for the day. Other prizes for the winning schools included fully funded farm visits, chef visits and £600 to spend on robotics products for the school.