Futuristic tractor concept wins Yorkshire Dales schoolchildren Commons date

Lucas Dawson, one of the children behind the winning Farmvention competition entry at Settle Church of England Primary School.
Lucas Dawson, one of the children behind the winning Farmvention competition entry at Settle Church of England Primary School.
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Inventive schoolchildren in the Yorkshire Dales have landed a spot to showcase their ingenuity in the House of Commons.

Key Stage 1 pupils from Settle Church of England Primary School have been named among the winners of a national competition by designing a ‘tractor of the future’.

Their entry to the Farmvention competition, held for the first time by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), has been selected as one of nine winners from across the country.

Winning school groups will exhibit their designs in the Commons during British Science Week in March, when an overall champion will be selected.

In getting this far, by designing a ‘Plug n Plough’ concept tractor with interchangeable components, Settle Primary has won a fully funded farm visit for pupils, £600 of robotic products and a visit by the Small Robot Company to help the children work on their design.

Sarah Entwhistle, teacher at Settle Primary, said: “We’re all very proud that some of our youngest budding engineers are being given the chance to present their ideas during the exhibition at the House of Commons.

“The recognition and value this places on what young people can imagine and create has inspired all our children.”

The NFU received more than 1,000 entries for the competition which aimed to use farming as a topic to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Launched in September, it challenged children to solve one of three farming-related issues by designing either a tractor of the future, an environment for a flock of 1,000 hens or a new snack product from four British ingredients.

Adam Bedford, the NFU’s regional director, said: “It’s great to see farming at the heart of creative learning opportunities in schools, boosting interest in STEM subjects and at the same time increasing young children’s understanding of food production and rural life.”