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ASCM Insights

5 Supply Chain Cures for Winter Break Cabin Fever

By Elizabeth Rennie, Editor-in-Chief, SCM Now magazine

No matter how your family celebrates at this time of year, one thing is certain: School’s out, and the kids need to be entertained — often for as long as three full weeks. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” comes on the radio, and I bet every caregiver knows exactly what Perry Como or Bing Crosby are talking about when they sing, “Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.”

Don’t get me wrong. My kids are fantastic, and I’m enjoying every minute with them this December. But let’s be honest: The winter break does tend to drag on.

So, to keep the little ones busy, my team at ASCM has put together the following list of five interesting and fun activities. Yes, of course they are supply chain-related! But we feel confident that you will secure the title of “cool parent” (or cousin, aunt/uncle, grandparent, family friend) when you share these with the young people in your life. Maybe you’ll even help fill the supply chain talent gap.

  1. Engage junior scientists and engineers with the Lemonade Activity. Work with your kindergarten-to-2nd grader to conduct experiments and use math to measure and make lemonade, all while learning about supply chain. (There are also higher-level activities for older elementary students.) Key STEM concepts include geography, climate and the water cycle; forming and testing hypotheses; and measuring solids and liquids.
  2. Lead your 6th, 7th or 8th-grader through an interactive endeavor of prototyping and mass production with the Paper Airplane Game. Design, engineer and test paper airplanes; select the best prototype; and assess manufacturing capability as that design goes down the assembly line. Kids will see firsthand why math is essential to manufacturing performance.
  3. The LEGO Booth Activity, for students in 6th through 12th grades, highlights innovation and smart design. Kids create their own LEGO car, run a test drive and assess performance. Engineering and supply chain concepts include technology innovation, prototype creation, design and test engineering, and quality control.
  4. Introduce your high school student to SCM Now magazine. You will inspire tomorrow’s leaders with my interviews with female chief supply chain officers from organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Kimberley-Clark and The Hershey Company. In the same issue, have them check out the feature on Carey Lohrenz, the first female F-14 Tomcat Fighter Pilot. And don’t miss “The Magic of Mentorship,” which demonstrates why young people simply can’t overlook the value of connecting with professionals of different ages, experiences and backgrounds.
  5. For college students, suggest they spend a few minutes learning about the ASCM Scholars Education Program. ASCM is dedicated to developing the supply chain leaders of tomorrow, and we are doing so by giving graduate and undergraduate members free registration to ASCM 2020. This offers the amazing opportunity to attend educational sessions, network with professionals in the field, learn from a dedicated mentor and much more.

On behalf of all of us at ASCM, we wish you and your family an enlightening holiday season. Make the most of your time together — school will be back in session before you know it.

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