Ok so it is that fabulous time of year. The Halloween decorations are out, children of all ages are discussing costumes and deciding on what really is their favorite candy. Just because it is a fun and fabulous holiday doesn’t mean we just sit back and wait. The learning needs to continue!
So I have a really important question for you today. What do you get when you mix Halloween and education? A tasty STEM activity for all ages to enjoy! So today that is just what I have for you! For those who don’t know STEM in an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. STEM activities promote learning in multiple areas- they encourage building and creativity. They support multiple right answers and allow for student success and confidence building. I love when you hide learning in fun. That’s what every academic activity should be. Students should feel like they are playing and exploring while they are also learning and working hard. So here is a fun little STEM challenge that involves chocolate, pumpkins and individualized creativity.
-Hershey’s Kit Kat Bars (I got the little 2 packs that are typically passed out to trick or treaters)
-Branch’s Mellowcreme Pumpkins
-Wax Paper or some type of platform for building
1. Give each student wax paper, 8 kit kat sticks and 6-8 pumpkins.
2. Give the students the following challenge: try and create the tallest structure that can hold the largest number of pumpkins.
3. Watch them work through the challenge and see what creative engineering structures they come up with.
4. Take Photos
5. Discuss the strengths of each structure- which is the tallest, which are holding the most pumpkins, maybe test some of them out in strength and stability. Have the students ask and answer questions. Make it fun!
6. Let them have a little “break” with those kit kat bars….and pumpkins too.
This particular activity or “challenge” is only one of the many you can do with these two different treats. The following are some alternative STEM activities that you could do either in addition to or instead of the one listed above.
1. Create a ramp to roll the pumpkins down- time how long each one stays on until they fall off.
2 .Create a spooky creature out of the candy
3. Fit as many pumpkins as you can within a structure created with kit kats.
4. Show what you can build in 60 seconds.
The fabulous thing about STEM activities is that there is no limit to the type of mediums you use. You can use cardboard, blocks, wire, boards, tubes, paper, metal, and today you saw it – candy! If STEM activities weren’t a favorite before, they are sure to be after this activity. Happy Snacking!