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7 Ways to Use Halloween Candy for Learning

Do you have a ton of candy from a weekend of celebrating Halloween? I know we do! So much candy that we needed to figure out all that we had, so what does any tech mom do?? We sorted, counted, and calculated our candy. It was an honest learning moment and a great way to […]

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Do you have a ton of candy from a weekend of celebrating Halloween? I know we do! So much candy that we needed to figure out all that we had, so what does any tech mom do?? We sorted, counted, and calculated our candy. It was an honest learning moment and a great way to show how data, the core component of Computer science, is a part of our everyday life. Data is at the core of computer science and is the power behind how decisions are implemented. We use data in every part of our lives and we can do some simple activities to show students the power of data and harness the knowledge for good. Here are 8 ways to have some fun with all that candy!

  1. Dump all of your candy out on the table. Grab a pack of sticky notes or cut some paper into small pieces. Sort the candy based on type, label with your paper, then count each piece and record on the paper. Then add all of the numbers up on the sticky notes, record the total, divide by the total type to get the average, note the number that appears the most as the mode, find the mind and max and see which type of candy you have the most of to eat! Then make a plan on what you want to eat each day.

2.  Do the same activity above but collect the data using a Google Sheet.

Use Google Sheets to have them count their candy and record their findings

Click here for an example

Then have them calculate the average, min, max, totals, median, and mode

3. On your next Zoom call, create a poll and ask: What was the top candy sold this year? Go further and ask, Why? What has the top candy from last year? What is the same, what has changed?

4.  Use Pixilart to have them draw a pixelated drawing of their favorite candy. Then tell why and share all of the reasons it is the best using textual evidence. Pixilart showcases the use of pixels and combines art and data.

5. Create a flip book either using paper or online about trick or treating, how candy is made, carving a pumpkin, etc. 

Online resource:

https://flipanim.com/

Hands On Resource:

Use post it notes to make a physical flip book: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Flipbook

6. How is candy made? What was the first candy? What was happening at this time in history?

Watch the following video: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americas-oldest-candy-company-ye-olde-pepper-candy-companie/

What technique is being used to create the candy? What are the elements creating the candy? How did they find their way during the pandemic? What is their top candy being sold?

7. Challenge your students or colleagues to make their own candy… (algorithms, math, computational thinking)

2 Ingredient Lollipops

Ingredients:

½ c granulated sugar

¼ c light corn syrup*

Instructions:

Stir the sugar and corn syrup together in a microwave safe vessel. Make sure it will accommodate 2-3 times its original volume. If using extracts/colors, add those in here as well.

Microwave for 2 minute intervals and watch the mixture closely. It will bubble voraciously. In my 1.45 kw microwave, it took 4 minutes to reach 300* The best way to gauge this accurately is through a candy thermometer.

Pour the candy over lollipop sticks on silpat/parchment {not wax}.

Work quickly and carefully. Press in decorations, if desired.

Edible glitter, dried fruits, drizzled chocolate and etc are all nice add-in options.

Data is everywhere and these fun activities will have you thinking about candy differently!

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