Follow The Shipping Box

Before becoming a stay-at-home-dad, I spent the last decade in the supply chain and logistics industry. I’ve worked as an export coordinator for a major supply chain solutions company, a freight forwarder for hazardous air cargo, and as an inbound logistics analyst for a global footwear company. Globalization, foreign affairs, politics, and all things international interest me.

BBCs The Box

BBC's "The Box"

That’s why I’m totally stoked about this project from the BBC. Quick synopsis:  BBC is running a news series on globalization. They’ve commissioned an export container to be painted red with their logo and website, and to be used in the general container pool. They give updates about where it’s at via GPS on the website, and ask for readers and viewers to take pictures / videos of the container if they see it. An interactive map shows its current location, and its previous path.

So, this is the type of story I would follow just on my own. Because, yeah, I’m a logistics and globalization geek. It’s my hobby. It’s my sickness. I’ll pretty much keep that out of here as much as possible.

Follow the Drinking Gourd

Fae’s kindergarten history starts with learning about globes and maps, the seven continents, directions and cardinal points… at least, that’s what we’ve covered so far this year. We’re still a little behind, because of the materials shipment delays. I’m pretty sure globalization isn’t going to be covered in the next couple of units. At least, we didn’t receive a copy of Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat with our copy of Follow the Drinking Gourd.

Still, I think the BBC’s project is good fodder for this stage of Fae’s history classes. We’ll be able to Google Earth the current location, check out its Wikipedia entry, look up some images of the local scenery. If we’re lucky, we can find some local music online or at the library. Maybe she’ll get an appreciation of the size of the Earth. Or of the copious variety of cultures. Or maybe even of languages (she loves to make up her own Spanish).

Right now, we’ll keep it simple by focusing on the country, the previous paths and the directions, and maybe plot a possible path on the map based on its next port of call. Since the project is (hopefully) scheduled to run for a full year, there will be plenty of time for the lessons to grow with Fae.

I’ll probably enjoy following the series, too.

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About PDX Dad

Simple father from Portland, Oregon. International logistics by trade, economics by education, writer by passion.

2 responses to “Follow The Shipping Box”

  1. Pat says :

    You might also consider something pertaining to transportation here (like how you would have to travel to get to different countries). She might be a little young to get into exports and imports from different countries, but might learn what chief resources are grown/produced in different countries.

  2. PDX Dad says :

    Hi Pat, yeah, the comment posted just fine. I’m not sure on the error message you got.

    The next few units of Fae’s History (really, Geography) start to focus on specific countries, so I’ll look at incorporating some of the more commercial concepts if she can handle it.

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