Havant MP Alan Mak encourages schools to take on agriculture challenge

Local MP Alan Mak has encouraged Havant schools to take part in the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) Farmvention challenge.

The challenge aims to provide primary school-aged children with an early and engaging introduction to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) subjects.

The Havant MP met with representatives from the NFU at Northney Farm on Hayling Island to hear more about the project during his regular catch-up with local farmers.

Alan is also a keen champion of technology and skills through his work in Westminster, where he is the Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

He said: “The NFU Farmvention challenge is an excellent opportunity for primary schools to expose their pupils to the STEM fields in a fun and engaging way. I was delighted to find out more about it following my meeting with the NFU, hearing about some of the high-quality skills needed now to work in our local farms. I encourage schools and pupils to get behind the project, which is an excellent way to boost skills, and I hope to meet a Havant constituency finalist at the awards ceremony in the House of Commons."

Those looking to enter can choose from three challenges - designing a tractor of the future, designing an environment for a flock of 100 laying hens or designing a new snack product using British foods.

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

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.

Applications close on 21 December 2018. Finalists will be invited to the House of Commons to present their entries during British Science and Engineering Week 2019.

Picture: Alan Mak MP with farmers Sam Wilson and Stan and Mary Pike as well as representatives from the National Farming Union at Northney Farm