I always purchase gumdrops as part of my Christmas decorations. They are so colorful and add a sweet touch to your home. I have a few ideas for using gumdrops in your classroom. They include STEM activities that are so much fun.
You don't need much to do these activities... just gumdrops, toothpicks and an imagination. Students can do this activity and then create their own models.
Give each of your students 25 toothpicks and 11 gumdrops. Just stick the toothpicks in each gumdrop to form the base. I like using different colors so students know how many are in each layer.
Add pressure to the top to see how this triangular structure can handle compression. Try creating a square structure and compare. Which structure is stronger? Students will see that the square structures collapse easily, giving way at their joints. Students can record their results and reflections from this activity. Now, give the students more gumdrops and toothpicks. They can work in groups to see which structure is the strongest.
Try an experiment with gumdrops. Add water to a clear container and vinegar to the other. Record observations.
I've used lifesavers to make stained glass creations but have never used gumdrops. One thing I HIGHLY recommend is to spray a little Pam on the foil and around the sides of the cookie cutter. My creation stuck to to the foil and cookie cutter. It looks like the gumdrops haven't melted. But, if you press on the gumdrops with a wooden spoon, they will blend together. If you turn the design over, you will see more of a stained glass look.
This graphing activity is so much fun. You need larger gumdrops to do this activity. I actually found gumdrop wreaths that will work perfectly. Students can work in pairs by taking turns stacking their gumdrops. Record results and compare with the rest of the class.
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