Easy Peasy: British Science Week
This week is British Science Week: a celebration of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM) run by the British Science Association. It is taking place now, between 11-20 March 2022, and this year’s theme is “growth”.
At the Union Chain Bridge Project, we are delivering a STEM Learning Programme, in which we work alongside 19 local Primary, First, and Middle Schools. The schools all lie within an approximate 10-mile radius of the Union Chain Bridge. Through the project, we aim to keep our teachers and pupils up to date with the bridge restoration works at site, bring schools together to form a network for sharing and collaborating, and offer a selection of workshops, activities, and resources, aimed at building children’s long-term STEM career aspirations. So, of course, when British Science Week 2022 came approaching, we wanted to get involved in the “growth” science topic, in a local way, too.
Lucky for us, we had two local companies who were willing to help with a local and low-carbon “growth” story about peas: the Scottish Borders Produce (SBP) Ltd. and Eyemouth Freezers Ltd. SBP Ltd is a cross-border co-operative of farmer members in the Scottish Borders, East Lothian and North Northumberland who grow 13,000 tonnes of vining peas every year within a 30-mile radius of Eyemouth. The crop is grown specifically for the freezer market and so, once harvested, the peas are transported to Eyemouth Freezers Ltd. for blanching, freezing, and packing. The frozen pea packets are then ready for sale, so they are transported to the distribution centres of local supermarkets. They may very well be the same peas that you purchase from your local Tesco, Co-op, Morrisons, or similar, and they have been grown, processed, purchased, and eaten all within our local area.
To inspire students with this amazing journey of the pea, the companies above kindly donated some pea seeds to all our project schools for British Science Week. Every school received a 50-gram packet (~250 seeds) to do with as they please. Many schools are emulating our farming community by growing their own crops in school gardens, some classes are watching the seeds sprout to learn about the germination process, and some older classes are experimenting with the germination rates of our pea seeds vs. the germination rates of purchased frozen peas (an experiment designed by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council).
So, this week has been all about the humble pea. To find out more about the learning resources we offer to our partner schools, visit our learning pages.