NFU Cymru and NFU’s annual Farmvention competition is looking to bring the world of food and farming into the classroom. This year the bilingual 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 competition is open to secondary school children as well as primary, with the aim of identifying Climate Superheroes and inspiring climate action.
Entrants are being challenged to develop an invention, innovation or idea that would help farmers care for the environment and reduce their impact on the climate. To help with this, NFU Cymru and the NFU have 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. These resources, which are available in both Welsh and English, provide STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) related activities that can be completed both at home and at school.
NFU Cymru President John Davies said: “The Farmvention competition has gone from success to success, and this year’s competition 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."
“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.
“The resources on the Farmvention website are available in both English and Welsh language, I encourage children of all ages across Wales to get involved.”
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.