Farmvention: Climate Super heroes

GSL Spotlight

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing our planet. Farmers are some of the most affected by the extreme weather brought about by global warming but they also have amazing potential in the battle to fight it; many already are.

NFU Education really want to open the eyes of pupils to how integral food and farming are to their day to day lives and give them an exciting, real life concept to explore the science behind our climate. This is where their new competition –  Farmvention: Climate Superheroes – comes in!

British farming is committed to achieving Net Zero by 2040 and they’re looking for inspiration from the next generation of STEM superstars to help with creating innovations and inventions to assist in reaching this goal.

What is Farmvention?

Farmvention (when farming meets invention) is a national STEM competition run by NFU Education and aimed at children aged 5 – 14 (school years 1 -9) in England and Wales. It can be entered individually or as part of a team or class.

This year, the challenge is all about the problems that climate change creates for British farmers and how they are fighting it to become Climate Superheroes.

The competition is supported by four inspiration hubs: Technology, Soil & Plant Health, Renewable Energy and Sustainable Food. Each hub contains Association for Science Education accredited teaching resources as well as interactive 3D tours of our own climate superheroes’ farms (ideal at the moment while school trips can be difficult)!

Why should you enter?

NFU Chief Education Manager, Josh Payne, runs us through 7 reasons why you should be planning to enter…

  • Brand new interactive 3D tours: the new look Farmvention website has four brand new immersive 3D tours of farms available to inspire your entries. You can meet the Blackbrook Longhorns with livestock farmer Joe, get inside the cab of a combine harvester with Farmer Olly, see how Farmer Andrew milks and feeds his cows using robots and take a virtual tour of pioneering roboteers, The Small Robot Company’s HQ including finding out how they zap weeds and map farms using artificial intelligence. The tours work with any internet connected device and offer a great way to visit the farm while external trips are limited.

  • Amazing prizes: the top nine entries will receive £1000 to spend on science and outdoor education at their school. As usual, the prize giving will be held at the House of Commons terrace with travel to London included for up to 6 students and 2 adults.

  • Grow your learners’ questioning skills: each of our four Inspiration Hubs is supported by free learning resources that have been green tick verified by the ASE. Each resource is designed to develop working scientifically skills and assist students in questioning where their food comes from and the choices we make when choosing what we eat.

  • Use a real life context to discuss a globally important issue: The NFU is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040. The NFU education team have worked closely with policy experts to understand the issues facing farmers and how the industry is planning to reach its target. The activity packs and 3D tours are designed to explain these complex principles in a way that can be understood by primary aged learners.

  • Themes that relate well to the UN’s sustainable development goals: The four inspiration hubs: renewable energy, sustainable food, soil & plant health and technology. These themes match well with goals such as life on land, responsible consumption and production and affordable and clean energy as well as the overarching theme of climate action.

  • More time to enter – we appreciate that schools are under a huge amount of pressure and have adapted the competition to allow a much longer time frame for entries. The competition closes on 31st May 2021 this will give children more time to work on their entries. Perhaps you could pencil in some time during British Science Week in March?

  • Access to an exclusive museum designed science show in your classroom. NFU Education has been working closely with Techniquest museum in Cardiff to develop an interactive Climate Superheroes stage show. The show is going to be digitised and we will be fully funding rentals for schools who are taking part in the competition to receive the show online.

How do you sign up?

Individuals, teams, and classes do not need to ‘sign up.’ You can get started with the competition in your own time, and when you’re ready, submit your entry on the Farmvention website here.

Entries to the competition have to be submitted on or before the 31st May 2021!