After the phenomenal success since its launch just two years ago, the NFU is opening its annual Farmvention competition to bring the world of food and farming into the classroom. This year the competition is focusing on the greatest global challenge of all – climate change.
More than 5,000 children have already got involved in Farmvention over the past two years and for the very first time the NFU is opening the competition to secondary school children as well as primary, with the aim of identifying Britain’s Climate Superheroes and inspiring climate action.
Entrants are being challenged to develop an invention, innovation or idea that would help British farmers care for the environment and reduce their impact on the climate. To help with this, the NFU has created brand new interactive 3D farm tours; children can meet Blackbrook Longhorn cattle with 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 find out how The Small Robot Company develops robots to zap weeds and map farms using artificial intelligence.
The 3D tours will be available alongside four inspiration hubs, based around the themes of technology, soil and plant health, renewable energy and sustainable food, which provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related activities that can be completed both at home and at school.
NFU President Minette Batters said:
“The Farmvention competition has gone from success to success, and this year’s launch is particularly exciting because it is solely focused on one of the most relevant, important and challenging issues of our time.
“Children today are more aware of our impact on the climate than ever. It is crucial we bring food and farming into the debate to build children’s understanding of sustainable food production, what farmers are already doing to reduce their climate impact and what more can be done."
Pictured above: NFU President Minette Batters with 2019 Farmvention winners, Ronald Ross Primary School
“Over the previous two competitions we have been astounded by the ingenuity of the inventions. The enthusiasm from both teachers and pupils for a practical project that brings key curriculum topics to life has been clear from the start, and I can’t wait to see what the nation’s schoolchildren come up with this year to win the title Climate Superhero.”
Winners will have the opportunity to present their ideas at the Houses of Parliament later in the year and will receive £1,000 for their school to spend on STEM or outdoor learning equipment.
Visit the Farmvention website for more details about how to enter this year's competition. Entries close on Monday 31 May 2021.
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