CHAP’s Lockdown Learning in summary

The #LockdownLearning campaign, led by EatFarmNow and NFU Education, has been a massive success, providing valuable learning resources for children during lockdown, and satisfying a ‘need for nature’ during a time of restricted access. It has also been an opportunity to reconnect children and their families with food, farming and the countryside, all while learning about core topics.

The #LockdownLearning campaign was a natural fit for CHAP, especially with the centre’s participation in New Scientist Live. Innovation Hub Lead Dr Jenna Ross, was the perfect person to lead this, with her involvement with the STEM Ambassador programme and LANTRA Industry Champions.

Our first contribution was the ‘Introduction to Imaging’ video, featuring Tom Ashfield at Rothamsted Research. Jenna re-purposed CHAP’s online content, with new audio from Tom, to showcase the Digital Phenotyping capability. This was supported by an activity, introduced by Grace and Ava (Jenna’s nieces) which showed how children can try the concept of imaging at home, using food colouring, flowers and a smartphone, to show the stages of transpiration.

Next up was Jenna’s personal contribution, which, no surprise to those that know her well, focused on slugs. Jenna provided an overview of molluscs and why they are key pests, and, along with the help of her nieces, suggested some ‘sluggish’ activities to try at home – including slime racing, slug trapping and art activities. Slugs have become an interesting focus for CHAP in recent months, with the launch of our new project, ‘SlugBot’, a collaboration between CHAP, Small Robot Company, COSMONiO and AV and N Lee.

The next contribution was from Dr Emma Campbell who is based at James Hutton Institute. Emma introduced the IHCEA vertical farm which is housed inside three shipping containers. Emma gave an overview of the different hydroponic techniques onsite and, assisted by her two children Ben and Daisy, also provided two complementary activity videos, tailored to the abilities of younger and older schoolchildren, showcasing how to set up hydroponic systems at home.

CHAP’s final contribution focused on careers within AgriTech. Jenna gave an overview of her role as Innovation Hub Lead, and pulled together content from the CHAP website to demonstrate the breadth of capabilities and expertise in our capabilities.

All the CHAP #LockdownLearning videos can be found by checking out the lockdown learning website or by following the link directly to our YouTube channel Lockdown Learning Playlist which includes the below :

  • Imaging activity:
  • Introduction to Imaging:
  • Slime Time:
  • Introduction to Vertical Farming:
  • Build your own Vertical Farm (Beginner):
  • Build your own Vertical Farm (Advanced):
  • What’s it like being an agri-scientist:

Others contributors to the Lockdown Learning campaign included TV presenter and farmer Adam Henson, presenter James Wong, actor/comedian Charlie Baker, journalist Anna Jones, farming influencer Hannah Jackson, Karen Watson at Barleylands farm park and nutritionist Barbara Bray.

For more information and to view the full portfolio of Lockdown Learning activities go to EatFarmNow and click on Lockdown Learning.

Big thanks go to Jenna for coordinating and editing CHAP’s contribution to #LockdownLearning, and to Tom and Emma for their fantastic videos. Also thanks to our ‘junior’ scientific assistants, Ben, Daisy, Ava and Grace.

If you have any questions about working with CHAP, please send us an email using the enquiries form at the bottom of our homepage.