Want to make math more interesting for your reluctant learner? Try adding some candy! In this Candy Construction STEM challenge we are building geometric shapes with candy, making this a fun and tasty way to work some hands on learning into your lessons.
Halloween STEM Activity with Candy
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Halloween is coming up fast and that means we have a lot of extra candy around. I am always looking for ways to use up some of that candy in fun an unique ways.
That doesn’t mean you need to do this as a Halloween activity. You can do this STEM challenge anytime of the year!
A while back we did a Marshmallow Geometry STEM Build that was a big hit with the kids. So this time we decided to do a fun Halloween twist and use some candy.
We also broke out our Geometric Solids set this time so the kids could tackle a number of new shapes and expand their math vocabulary while putting those engineering and building skills to use.
Candy STEM Challenge Supplies
Geometric Solids Set
Candies (you will want Gummy or Jujube types)
Candy Construction – Building Geometric Shapes
To start our Candy Construction Challenge we picked the most simple and straightforward shape: A Cube.
We discussed the proper terms for faces, edges and vertices. Then added up how many of each the shape had. This was important for ensuring our candy models were exact replicas.
Once we had discussed the shape, it was time to build!
First we needed to gather the right supplies.
The candies would be used at each vertices, so we counted out how many candies we needed for our cube shape.
The toothpicks are our edges, and all the edges were the same length. That made it easy! We counted out all the toothpicks.
Then we built our cube!
Once it was successfully built, it was time to eat a candy reward… of course!
Then we tackled the next shape.
When it came time to do the rectangular prisms and triangular prisms, we noted that the edges were different lengths. That was easily fixed by cutting our toothpicks in half with scissors.
Soon we had a whole bunch of different shapes!
Then we noticed the hemisphere. It was all circles. My son had an idea!
He took out the licorice and built a shape that at least somewhat resembled the hemisphere. He tried to build it using just the licorice but it kept flopping over. The candy helped give it some stability. It was a great little engineering and problem solving challenge.
The best part was how much fun we had learning the shapes and engineering them!
In this project we are learning some important math skills. Specifically you will want to explain to your kids these terms:
The candies are the vertices or corners.
Toothpicks are the edges or the straight lines.
Then you have the faces of the shapes, which are the flat planes, which in our builds will be empty.
Prism refers to a 3D shape. A rectangular prism has rectangular faces and a triangular prism has triangle faces.
STEM Activity Extensions
As you build and engineer the geometric candy designs explore some of these ideas with your kids.
- Are all the edges the same length?
- Discuss how many edges/vertices/faces there are in each structure.
- How many triangles/squares/rectangles can they find in each shape?
- Test your structures to see how much weight they can hold. Which shape is the strongest?
- To simplify the project for younger students, make simple 2D shapes such as triangles, squares, etc. You can find a similar activity here that also has a literacy component.
Looking for more Halloween STEM fun? Check out our 31 Days of Halloween STEM!
Have a blast playing and learning STEM with Candy! I have a feeling we will be doing this challenge a few more times. They even talked about doing it as a Minute to Win it style STEM challenge as part of a Halloween Party. I can see that being a ton of fun!
Happy Halloween and Learning!
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