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Sustainable Farming

Build a micro greenhouse, code a micro:bit to monitor and control conditions, and grow microgreens – an insight into sustainable farming.

Sustainable Farming

With a sustainability focus pupils explore the impact of traditional food production models and climate change on biodiversity in Wales.

They explore urban farming and controlled environment farming as alternatives with advantages for food security and sustainability more broadly.

They are encouraged to think about how the choices they make directly impact the world around them and how technology, in the form of controlled environment farming, can bring about new ideas and new approaches.

They are introduced to microgreens as an increasingly popular crop choice that is particularly suited to anything from a windowsill to large scale commercial production. The microgreens are fast growing allowing them to witness the full growing cycle from seed to plate in 7 to 10 days. 

As well as assembling the physical indoor greenhouse from a kit of parts and fitting it with various electronic components, pupils use Microsoft MakeCode to block code sensors and actuators that allow them to collect environmental data whilst their greenhouse automatically responds to the needs of their crop. The data collection system pupils code will record data from selected sensors throughout the cycle, making the data available for further statistical analysis. 

Throughout the workshop pupils are assigned roles within their teams that encourage them to think about their skills and how these might relate to future career aspirations or opportunities in STEM.

Location and cost

Available to classes of 5 to 30 students, in secondary schools in Wales. 


Learning outcomes

  • Improve engagement, interest or enjoyment in STEM subjects

  • Improve attainment and progress in STEM subjects

  • Learning what the engineering workplace is like

  • Develop engineering employability skills

  • Improve awareness and aspirations for STEM-related study and careers

  • Challenge stereotypes by showing the diversity of disciplines, people and skills involved in engineering

Subjects and topics

    • Chemistry
    • Design and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Electronics, robotics and programming
    • Energy and environment
    • General engineering
    • Structures, construction and civil engineering

Gatsby benchmarks

The Gatsby benchmarks are a framework for good careers guidance for schools across all of England and in some areas across the rest of the UK. This experience helps your school to reach the following benchmarks:

  • Addressing the needs of each pupil
  • Linking curriculum learning to careers

Essential skills

The essential skills every young person needs to succeed in education and their future career. Find out more at the Skills Builder Partnership. This experience builds the following skills:

  • Listening - the ability to listen and understand information.

  • Teamwork - working cooperatively with others towards achieving a shared goal.

What the teachers say

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