NFU live lessons reach more than 275,000 students for British Science Week

A Science Farm Live lesson at a primary school

NFU Education’s Science Farm live lessons continued to bring farming into the classroom during British Science Week and National Careers Week following its success teaching record numbers of children for the past three years.

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

The sessions for Key Stage 1 and 2 included:

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

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 of young consumers.”

NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos

Science and farming working hand-in-hand

The free lessons took place on 13 and 14 March and brought the exciting world of British farming into the classroom, giving students a taste of what life is like as a farmer.

Resources were made available to teachers alongside the live lessons to enable them to extend the lessons and learn more about how science and farming work hand-in-hand.  

Science Farm Live 2024: watch live – see the lessons in action.

NFU Vice President Rachel Hallos said she was “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 of young consumers.

“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 added.

‘Perfectly pitched’

This year marks the fourth year of NFU live lessons. This year’s lessons reached record numbers of students, following on from the 223,000 students who signed up for the first edition in 2021.

One primary school teacher commented: “Perfectly pitched. My class loved it and I now have 24 children all wanting to be a farmer.

“An excellent start to our career related learning as well as being part of science week. An excellent resource – thank you.”

This page was first published on 11 March 2024. It was updated on 14 March 2024.

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