The Royal Academy of Engineering
is supporting a National Farmers union (NF) project to enable children to get a taste of life as an agricultural engineer.
The funding, which totals £29,125, will allow the NFU Education
team to deliver interactive afterschool club sessions throughout the autumn term where children will get a taste of life as an agricultural engineer.
As well as delivering the online sessions, this funding will enable the NFU to build its bank of 3D tours to include different engineering workspaces, such as Harper Adams University and the Small Robot Company, alongside its current 3D farm tours.
This project is the latest NFU STEM resource which will be freely available alongside the existing Farmvention competition, Farming STEMterprise programme and Science Farm Live lessons.
NFU President Minette Batters said: “There is a skills gap within our society across all STEM roles and the lack of young people taking up engineering courses and jobs is quite stark.
“Yet this is such an exciting and important time for the engineering industry which plays a crucial role within food production, and all aspects of our society, especially as the country looks to build greener infrastructure and technologies to help realise its net zero ambition.
“But at the moment there are so many children who don’t get enough exposure to the opportunities in engineering, and whose schools don’t have the opportunity to explore the topic in much detail or take classes on trips to science and engineering museums”
Chris Biddle writes:
Here surely is an initiative in which the whole industry, manufacturers and dealers, can engage in a co-ordinated manner. There are a number of STEM Ambassadors with extensive experience of this industry, and in the past initiatives such as Tractors in Schools have proved very popular and effective.
Obviously, restrictions imposed by the pandemic have brought such activities to a halt, but with the project not starting until the Autumn, but there is surely time to work out how the whole of the landbased engineering sector could assist in practical ways to help plant the seeds of opportunity in young minds.