Business and Math

During the input on demand planning I found it an interesting topic and especially though the activity I felt it would be an exciting lesson to do with children as it could be explored through a business angle, global warming, problem solving and design.
Before the activity we considered food miles, which is the way we measure the distance our food travels from farm to the supermarket shelves. I decided to consider something which was in the fridge at home and used an online calculator to calculate the average food miles travelled. The item I decided to calculate was the fresh coriander which was grown in Kenya. The Calculator then estimated that the coriander would have been sent from the Capital (Nairobi) and have been sent to London. From their calculations, the coriander will have travelled 4237 miles which equates to the production of approximately 1525kg of CO2. This was the calculation of CO2 without the calculations of distance from farm to airport then airport to the supermarket.
This could lead to a discussion with the children with the importance of buying locally sources food to support our local economy in addition to reducing the carbon footprint. This could lead to important discussions with the children within a setting about the statistics behind what would happen if we all swapped to locally sourced fruit and veg.
Another angle addressed was reducing the size of the item or the shape of the item to make it more shipping friendly meaning more can be fitted in a shipping container or fill the space fully so not to be transporting air that could be filled with produce. By being able to fit more produce into a container it would mean less trips would be needed to deliver the amount of product which would in turn make it more cost effective for the company and reduce the carbon footprint. Somewhere that has already attempted to change the shape of their produce is Japan where they decided to make watermelons into squares by allowing them to grow in glass boxes however this was not cost effective as the labour that was required in this meant that the watermelons cost around £85 to purchase. This could be explored with the children and get them to come up with new designs and problem solve how to effectively package different items.
Understanding demand is something that the supermarkets are required to do to ensure success within their business. Therefore, the supermarkets employ people to work with the statistics of what is in high demand at different times of year and calculate how much stock will be required for the store. During the activity during the lecture we had the chance to take part in this ourselves by purchasing goods over a period and charting how much profit was to be made. This was not done as successfully by myself and my partner however some groups stores had a massive amount of profit by the end of the task.
This input has inspired me for future lessons plans and ensuring that I can explore different areas of a topic and in more depth to facilitate the best possible learning experience for the children .

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