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Educational SEFARI

Published Wednesday, 20th May 2020 in About SRUC news

Free educational resources will help those who are home schooling during the coronavirus pandemic
Free educational resources will help those who are home schooling during the coronavirus pandemic

Scottish research institutes are sharing educational activities and resources for teachers, parents and learners to use during the coronavirus pandemic.

School children can learn how to manage a forest, become diet detectives or try being a farmer.

Aimed at those who are home schooling, the free online educational activities and resources have been collated by the six organisations which make up SEFARI (the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes).

The resources cover a wide range of topics including the environment, food and agriculture and are suitable from primary school age up to seniors in secondary school. Many activities are available now and more will be coming shortly in collaboration with users to ensure ease of access.   

Dr Michelle Wilson-Chalmers, Research and Communications Officer at SEFARI Gateway, said: “The unprecedented health crisis posed by Covid-19 means home schooling has become essential and SEFARI is working hard to ensure our educational activities are made readily accessible online to help.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have access to hundreds of experts across a variety of topics who are passionate about education and enjoy creating fun resources that aid learning.”

Among the activities is the forest health game Caledon which enables players to discover the challenges of managing a forest and dealing with issues such as invasive diseases, grazing animals and illegal loggers.

This was developed by colleagues from seven research institutes, including three SEFARI organisations – the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the James Hutton Institute.

For those interested in what we eat and how mathematical modelling can aid better choices when shopping, the Number Muncher Diets activity – created by colleagues at Biomathematics Statistics Scotland (BioSS) and the Rowett Institute – helps users experiment with different (mathematically calculated) diets by varying nutritional, economic and environmental constraints.

Infectious diseases and how pathogens are transmitted is a topical issue, and the Moredun Research Institute has developed a series of short animated films to highlight aspects of disease prevention and control.

Davy McCracken, Head of SRUC's Integrated Land Management and one of the team working on the SEFARI project, said: “The Data 4 Schools resource, developed jointly by the Royal Highland Education Trust and SRUC, is a great example of how data collected across our suite of farms for research purposes can also prove an invaluable aid for teaching in primary and secondary schools.

“By doing so, we also hope it helps provide pupils, parents and teachers with a greater understanding of how different farming systems work across Scotland."

For more information and a table of resources, visit: https://sefari.scot/document/online-education-resources-table, @SEFARIscot or email: info@sefari.scot



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