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Learn farm science through lunch

Research into an arable crop may not sound that interesting for a group of children. But add a little of the sweet end-product to raw chocolate and suddenly you’ve the attention of a class of young children – and their teachers – and the makings of a great way to learn farm science through lunch.

Ches Broom shares how British Beet Research Organisation joins in some  lunchbox learning to show Farming is Magic.

Linking farming science to lunch

Ches Broom, BBRO (second right) and team ready to show Farming is Magic

Ches Broom, BBRO (second right) and team ready to show Farming is Magic

BBRO (British Beet Research Organistaion) staff had great fun taking part in the Lunchbox Science programme with a team from SAW (Science, Art and Writing) and FACE (Farming Agriculture and Countryside Education). We were tasked with linking the science at the BBRO with something in the lunchbox of children at St Michaels Junior School in Bowthorpe, Norwich.

Making a learning journey

Learning through hands on science about food and farming

Learning through hands on science about food and farming

We took the youngsters on a journey from seed to sugar. We showed them the Farming is Magic sugar beet film so they could see what the crop looks like in full leaf in the field. They could also hear straight from sugar beet specialist, Dr Mark Stevens, about the challenges farmers face while growing this sweet treat.

Classroom activity

We know that children learn best through experience so we were all ready with a whole range of activities. The children searched beet leaves for aphids and predators, having a close up view through microscopes.  They then filled test tubes with solution to grow their own sugar crystals before having a taste test of three different chocolates to decide which had the most sugar, unsurprisingly the sweetest chocolate was also the most popular.

school children using art and poems to explain science

Farming is Magic: school children creatively use art and poetry to share what they’ve learned.

Learn science of farming through creativity

The SAW team then helped the youngsters to write poems and draw pictures

based around the mornings activities.  Maybe it was the chocolate that got the creative juices going but, whatever it was, the youngsters had certainly taken it all in. From giant aphids to jaw-crunching ladybirds the young people had certainly enjoyed getting to grips with science.