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Candy Structures

Candy Structures!

Candy Structures!

Project Description (10)

Students will become engineers by creating their very own building by using toothpicks and Dot candies! They will create 3D shapes that they will put together to create a strong self-standing building.

Recommended Grade Kindergarten

Math Geometry K.G: Identify and describe shapes (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, hexagons, cubes, cones, cylinders, and spheres).

K.G.3 Identify shapes as two-dimensional (lying in a plane, “flat”) or three dimensional (“solid”).


K-2-ETS1-2. Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.


This project typically follows our stamp printing unit. We actually create structures based on our blue-prints.

Learning Outcomes

1. Will learn about engineering and what an engineer does
2. Will learn how to make 3D structures
3. Will learn how to make a strong base to have a stable structure
4. Will learn teamwork and collaboration
5. Failing-Up
6. Practicing Patience


Part 1:

Part 2:
-Gumdrops or Dots candy
-Printer paper


Part 1:
1. Begin by asking what the students think an engineer does
2. Talk about how today they are going to be engineers by using play-doh and toothpicks
3. Demonstrate how to create 2D and 3D shapes out of play-doh and toothpicks
4. Send back to tables to begin practicing for about 15 minutes
5. Challenge them to make as many shapes as the can
6. For those doing well, have them practice 3D shapes as well

1. Talk about the different shapes they were able to make
2. Talk about what was easy and what was difficult

Part 2:
1. Review part 1 by talking about what an engineer does and the previous activity.
2. Explain how they will now create their own 3D structure using the shapes the practiced in part 1.
3. Tell the students they will be using toothpicks again, but instead of play-doh they will use Dots candies.
4. Give a brief demonstration
5. Let them build for 15-20 minutes
6. Challenge the student by having them create a building in teams to practice collaboration and teamwork

1.Talk about what was difficult and what they did to try and problem-solve their structures
2. Circle up and have them each share what they built

Time Estimation: 45-60 minutes


What worked well:
The students really enjoyed creating structures of their own. We were able to have a guest speaker who is an engineer to talk about what they do and to help the students build their structures.

What we would change:
Originally, we had students use marshmallows instead of Dot candies and the marshmallows became sticky and were not strong enough to hold the toothpicks in place. Choosing a strong candy is very important for students to succeed and avoid sticky hands!