Halloween STEM Challenge Candy Launchers

Rated 4.97 out of 5, based on 218 reviews
218 Ratings
Teachers Are Terrific
Grade Levels
3rd - 6th
Formats Included
  • Zip
18 +editable
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Perfect for Halloween! Students love to launch objects and this STEM activity uses pumpkin candy. Those little pumpkins are just the right size to launch through the air. Here's the good news! You can substitute with small plastic pumpkins, orange pom-poms, or even real tiny pumpkins. Even better, change this completely and use any time of year! Try tiny hearts for Valentine's Day or jelly beans in the spring! Check the preview for more alternative ideas!

This challenge is available in money-saving bundles!

What is the challenge?

In this challenge, students will design and build a launching device that will propel a piece of candy through the air and attempt to hit a target. The candy is your choice, but we used candy pumpkins. Students have some specific rules to follow in building the launching device and, of course, rules about launching the candy. The class will culminate with a target blasting opportunity for everyone!

What is your prep?

You will need supplies in addition to this package. This includes craft sticks, pipe cleaners, rubber bands, masking tape, 3-ounce cups, straws, plastic spoons, candy,

foam cups, and pom-poms or cotton balls (optional).

The package specifically includes:

  • Cover
  • Table of contents
  • Teacher background
  • Materials and preparation page
  • 4 pages of teacher directions
  • 4 pages of photographs
  • Extra Hints page
  • 2 versions of constraints posters with matching lab sheets*
  • Sample answer lab sheet
  • Scoring rubric
  • Editable file

Check the preview to see which forms are editable! The page count listed for this package includes everything. *One set of constraints and the matching lab sheet are specific to Pumpkin Launching and the second set is worded to be used for any kind of candy.

This challenge will need 1 class session (1 hour) to complete.

What are teachers saying?

  • "This was a fun activity for my students. The STEM packages by "Teachers are Terrific" are great! I look forward to purchasing additional ones. This was a fun, inexpensive, seasonal activity."
  • "My students had so much fun with this activity! Our class did a handful of STEM activities this year, but when we reflected on which ones we enjoyed most this was kept coming up! "
  • "Very complete- includes virtually anything you could think that you need to be successful in implementing this challenge! Highly recommended. Using this as an intro and fun STEM challenge for 8th graders and it's still relevant for them and their varied ability levels."

You may also like other challenges that will be fun for celebrating the month of October!

Or save money with a Pumpkin Bundle!

Save even more with a mega bundle of all the seasonal challenges:


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Total Pages
18 +editable
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all. Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.
Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object. Assessment does not include quantitative measures of changes in the speed of an object or on any precise or quantitative definition of energy.
Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.
Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.


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