Competition offers the chance to ‘turn the school into a farm’ for a day

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) has launched its ‘Farmvention’ competition – a challenge which aims to bring together farming and invention.

The launch comes ahead of the next school year to give teachers time to plan for the competition and applications will be open from September 6.

The competition, which provides a choice of three problem-based challenges, will focus on engaging children with key topics such as science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as getting them thinking about the everyday challenges farmers in Great Britain face.

These three challenges to choose from are:

  • Design a tractor of the future;
  • Design an environment for a flock of 100 laying hens; and
  • Design a new snack product that uses one or more of the following four British foods: Milk, beef, beetroot or oats.

Each challenge is supported by curriculum linked resources which the NFU created in partnership with the Association for Science Education (ASE).

The winning school will be announced at the House of Commons during British Science and Engineering Week, with the chance to win the grand prize experience of having the school turn into a farm for the day.

‘Overcoming challenges’

NFU President Minette Batters said: “Farmvention is a great opportunity for children to engage with the national curriculum in a new and exciting way, and at the same time learn about where and how their food is produced.

“Every day, farmers and growers in the UK face numerous challenges and so a major part of the Farmvention competition includes thinking of potential ways to overcome them.

Learning isn’t exclusive to the classroom. Children have so much to benefit from taking their learning outside and putting it in a real-life situation, as it makes an impression on them that they will remember for a lifetime.

“It’s really exciting when you think about the skills and knowledge that can be developed from this competition and I can’t wait to see what Britain’s young inventors come up with.”

Other prizes for shortlisted schools include:

  • Fully-funded farm visits;
  • £600 to spend on robotics products for the school;
  • Class packs of data loggers;
  • Chef visits to the school.

Entries close on December 21.