What was farming like before modern technology?


Your class will have the opportunity to discover how technology in our countryside changed rapidly during the last century seeing first hand some of the Museum’s large farm machinery and discovering their function. These large artefacts, from the threshing machine to the Ferguson tractor, will allow students to observe and discover how farming has changed over the past fifty years. Using these objects for comparison, students will be able to consider modern farming today and how it might change in the future with the aid of computers, GPS and other new inventions.

 Themes and topics:

  • Investigating/analyzing previous technologies and the work of others
  • Understanding development in design and technology
  • Design impacts on people, society and the environment
  • Advancement of mechanical systems
  • How technologies have helped shape the world
  • How forces are transferred through simple machines.

Suggested age range:

Upper primary and secondary

Links with other activities: 

This activity could also be used in conjunction with the ‘How are different machines and objects, past and present, used in country life?’ resource.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the activities students will:

  • have a greater awareness of how technology has changed in the countryside and with each change, what the impact has been for people working with it
  • be better able to find and process information to make deductions and categorise details
  • increase their knowledge of the solutions that people came up with to work the countryside and how this continues to this day
  • use information gleaned from the pre-visit and visit to inform ideas and drawings of their own invention/design.