Science competition inspires children to pursue agriculture
THERE’S a bright future in agriculture for Warwick kids and the Hermitage DAF facility are working hard to make sure they know it.
Year seven students at SCOTS PGC are just some of the hundreds of children nationwide competing in the Hermitage Schools Plant Science Competition.
The competition, now in its 24th year, is designed to inspire children to pursue an agricultural science career.
“It’s not just about farmer Joe on his tractor, there are a lot of diverse careers in agriculture,” competition co-ordinator Kerrie Rubie said.
“Goodness, there's so many different areas, entomology, plant science, drone technology, just oodles.
“I think they just get turned off thinking there’s not a career in agriculture but that’s just not the case, there’s so many different fields that kids can get into.”
Battling the restrictions of COVID-19, this year’s plant health themed competition will be conducted over webinars.
Year seven science teacher Lynne Nadebaum said she was proud of the way the children overcame the barrier of conducting their experiments from home.
“They all went home and ran their experiments, and they loved growing the beans,” she said.
“We posted the seeds out to them and they all got little packets and set up pots and they were sending me photos from home.
“They got really excited about it.”
While many of her students came from agricultural backgrounds, Mrs Nadebaum said it was a valuable lesson in hard work.
“They think agriculture just happens and things just grow so coming back and looking at the science side of it has helped them understand that it’s not that simple and that certain,” she said.
Ms Rubie said the program has worked to put the Hermitage facility on the map.
“We certainly need to keep the skills workforce going in that area to be working in that field in the future, that’s how were going to solve big world problems,” she said.
“Like feeding the growing population with less water and resources so we need our youngsters thinking about those big issues moving into the future.”
The students will submit their competition entries next week for judgment.