A classic science (and geometry) project takes on Halloween tones with candy corn-colored candies, a few ordinary toothpicks, and a bunch of triangles.
We are big fans in my house of the geodesic dome. We initially tried a bigger-than-expected version made from straws a few years ago. We had a great time putting it together—but it would not fit through the front door!
Making a small-scale geodesic dome from gummy candies is a much easier and faster way to introduce kids to the structure and shape of a geodesic dome. The Build a Gumdrop Geodesic Dome activity in the Science Activities for All Ages! area contains the simple directions you need to build your own.
With a tub of candy corn-shaped gum drops, my kids each built a geodesic dome over the weekend. The project doesn't take long, and the steps are well-described and illustrated in the activity. The gum drop and toothpick approach is also very forgiving. Precision in placing the toothpicks and candies isn't required to succeed, which makes the building accessible to a wide range of kids and students.
Once their domes were finished, my kids each built a small box (cube) using the same approach. The objective was to see how the strength of each shape compares. Once the cubes were constructed, they tried setting a variety of objects on each shape to see what would happen and how each would hold up under varying amounts of weight.
Finished with our science activity, one of my kids went on to expand from the cube shape, turning the initial base structure into the foundation for a more freeform sculptural piece. From science to food art!
I don't know if this will get us out of carving pumpkins, but it certainly was a lot less messy!