Elementary Science

Halloween candy and STEM

CANDY IS JUST DANDY ...for STEM and Engineering!!
We just posted our latest blog at Get Caught Engineering. It is FILLED with ideas and lots of free resources for creating STEM lessons with sweets. Willy Wonka would love it...and so will you and your students! http://www.getcaughtengineering.com/learning-sweet-2/
Wendy and Cheryl

Wendy Goldfein
Wendy Goldfein
1685 Activity Points

This is a great resource! Thank you!

Carrie LaFay
Carrie LaFay
100 Activity Points

Wendy,

This looks like a great page to go to to find ways to engage and teach science to my kids! Seeing how it involves candy, that's a huge bonus to keeping them engaged, my only problem would be allergies. What would you do if a student was allergic to a type of candy---modify so they do a different experiment or just scrap the whole experiment altogether?

Amber Chambers
Amber Chambers
2375 Activity Points

Great point, I was wondering the same thing as well. The resources are a fantastic idea in a perfect world, but nowadays there are too many what-ifs (unfortunately) We aren't even allowed to bring in treats for Halloween on Friday. Not because of the occasion itself, but because of food concerns.

Angela Zuccarini
Angela Zuccarini
1865 Activity Points

I agree,awareness of allergies ( food dyes, nuts,peanut butter, and chocolate come to mind) or diabetes is essential. In addition to allergies,I also keep track of dietary restrictions due to religion ( anything containing gelatin is forbidden in several religions...read ingredients carefully). Generally we are using the candy as building materials and not eating it (strict rule- no eating of projects), so unless they also cannot touch the item we are good to go.
I always have substitutions available for a snack after we have finished the lesson or I modify the lesson as needed.
You brought up a good point. Thank you!
Wendy :)

Wendy Goldfein
Wendy Goldfein
1685 Activity Points

Wendy,

Thank you for this post. I was going to speak to the idea of not eating in science.
While it can be engaging,there should be no eating or drinking while engaged in science investigations. Scientists and/or engineers do not eat while they are working investigations inside or out.

I try not to use food so students are not tempted. When I break my own rule and use food as part of a science investigation ,I also have strict rules about no eating during science.
What I sometimes do is have some sort of a treat for the students at a later time in the day.

Thank you

Kathy

Kathy Renfrew
Kathleen Renfrew
33435 Activity Points

Wendy,
Thank you for posting this website. This is a perfect batch of fall STEM activities. I like how some of them do not directly deal with candy and instead are about candy, which is still interesting to kids because...most children enjoy candy! I really liked the idea about building with candy, but I would be worried slightly, as mentioned, about possible allergy issues. Also, the school I am interning at does not allow food to be brought in, so that would eliminate any of the activities that would involve eating the candy. Other than that, they are great ideas that could even be done with an after school science program, or could be sent home to parents for things that students could do to enrich the concepts they learn in school at home.

Ashley Mancuso
Ashley Mancuso
2310 Activity Points

Hi All:
I also agree with everyone above especially about safety and food in the science classroom. I always rewarded the students after completing a 'food' involved activity with some kind of treat to take away from class after the activity was completed so that they knew that if they abided by the strict food restrictions during the experiment they would have something to look forward to such as small pieces of wrapped candy such as those given out during Halloween. Knowing they had something to look forward to kept them from breaking safety protocols.
Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101470 Activity Points

I agree with everyone about the food allergen. It can be difficult catering with everyones restrictions. I know being health conscious I would not want to provide my students with an abundance of sweets. Other then that I think this is a creative way for students to associate real world items with science.
Here is a link for creating a healthy classroom: http://www.healthiersf.org/nutrition/Action6/1-Teach_Students/classroom.php

Mariana Morales
Mariana Morales
885 Activity Points

This resource is definitely one I will use in my classroom!
Currently, we use lots of math activities that incorporate candy to build number sense and for graphing. I think using candy is motivating, encouraging, and relates to children's real lives because candy is something they love.

Iman Gressier
Iman Gressier
1500 Activity Points

This post is great I found this very useful and cant wait to incorporate it into the classroom I am observing right now this would be a very interesting topic to talk about especially during this time of Halloween.

Anayactzing De La Paz
Anayactzing De La Paz
995 Activity Points

This is interesting and I also believe that this idea will be engaging for students. Great!!!

Louis Aceituno
Louis Aceituno
5435 Activity Points

I have found this resource to be useful and engaging! Like many others have mentioned my only concern would be the allergies students may have to the candies being used. I would just make sure if any of my students have allergies or not, and plan as to how I would modify the experiment.

Najwa Al-Mohamed
Najwa Al-Mohamed
4280 Activity Points

So now Halloween is over, I am wondering what STEM activities are going to be used in the next few months?? I would love to have a discussion about what CC math and NGSS standards as well as other standards the projects are most likely meeting. Maybe someone has one they would like to look at???

Kathy

Kathy Renfrew
Kathleen Renfrew
33435 Activity Points

Thanks for this resource, it was great! I recently had to do a presentation on STEM and did not know how to make it engaging and interesting to my students. What a fun way to integrate both ideas together. Even though I do agree upon the food allergies and also parent issues with letting their students eat candy at school.

Roxana Puga
Roxana Puga
1380 Activity Points

Great way to get students excited.

Raniah Adams
Raniah Adams
1515 Activity Points

A lot of great resources for fun ways to include candy!!!

Thank you

Rudi Luna
Rudi Herrera
2200 Activity Points

This is a great resource! I did a STEM presentation with my students earlier this year and this would be an awesome follow up. I do agree that allergies would have to be considered before implementing but most lessons or resources do need to be tweeked to fit individual classrooms. Thanks!

Ashlea Creel
Ashlea Creel
1215 Activity Points

I think this is a great resource. It's very creative and fun for the students. I do think it's hard for most of the ideas because what we can take into classrooms as far as food and treats is extremely limited due to many factors, like mentioned allergies. There are lots of candies that have elements that students could be allergic to. It could always be done but it could be an issue.

Leslie Hernandez
Leslie
665 Activity Points

Although Halloween is long gone, the website list several great activities that would put that old Halloween candy to good use. STEM may be a difficult area for students to understand, but these activities will really get them interested. They are fun and exciting lesson/ investigations, that students will really enjoy. As stated before, some of the lessons may be limited because of food allergies, but teachers can alter the lessons so that all students get to be apart of it.

Jeniqua McFadden
Jeniqua McFadden
635 Activity Points

Thank you for the post, I really enjoyed it. I like how its able to engage students with something that will definitely grab their attention. 

Stephanie Fonseca
Stephanie Fonseca
345 Activity Points

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