Live lessons from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) are set to reach over 220,000 schoolchildren across the country during British Science Week.

The pupils are celebrating British Science Week, which takes place between March 8-17, 2024, with NFU Education, with three new live lessons bringing farming into the classroom.

The NFU’s Science Farm Live programme for British Science Week will start tomorrow (Wednesday, March 13).

Hosted by farmer Fiona Bates and farm vet Dr Claire Whittle, the children will delve into British food and farming to explore key science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects through a real-life farming context.

The sessions for Key Stage 1 and 2 include:

  • KS1: Students will see first-hand how farmer Fiona looks after her animals, help feed them and learn how she grows their food from scratch to learn about mammals and seasonal changes. They will also learn about the machinery she uses on her farm and help an agricultural engineer fix her broken tractor.
  • KS2: Guided by Dr Whittle, students will help inspect a cow’s teeth, compare a cow’s digestive system to their own and then go on a ‘poo walk’ to hunt for invertebrates in the fields to learn about the digestive system, nutrition, food chains and habitats.
  • KS2: Studentslearn how farmers can help take care of cows’ hooves and how Dr Whittle responds to the different emergencies she’s called out to. They will also help scan cows to see if they are pregnant to learn about animal lifecycles, reproduction and inheritance.

NFU vice president Rachel Hallos said: “Science is engrained in almost every aspect of agriculture, from soil health to crop protection to animal health.

“By bringing farming into classrooms across the country these lessons help bring often challenging subjects to life, allowing children to explore key STEM topics in a real-life context and gain first-hand experience of the world of work.

“I am incredibly proud of our education work in schools across the country. As well as offering this virtual way of finding out more about farming, the NFU’s initiative is a vitally important means of linking food production with the next generation.”

Hallos said the Science Farm Live programme has seen 220,000 students able to step into the boots of a farmer and farm vet to learn about day-to-day life in the agricultural sector.

“I hope this week will inspire students and ignite an interest in a future in science, especially in our fantastic British food and farming sector,” she said.