Candy Challenge! #datainaction By: Dr. Sharon Jones

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. 

Candy Activity Ideas:

Activity 1) Have a poll ready in Zoom to ask one or all of the following.. or do in a Google form:

Did you go trick or treating?
Did you dress up?
How much candy did you get, tell me the number of pieces of candy?
What is you favorite candy?

Then have a conversation about the results. 


Activity 2) Candy Questions:

  • Ask what was the top candy sold this year?
    • Why?
  • What has the top candy from last year?
  • What is the same, what has changed?


Activity 3) 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

 It will be interesting to see the range of types of candy and amount.


Activity 4) Use 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. 


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

Online resource:

Use post it notes to make a physical flip book


Activity 6) How is candy made? What was the first candy? What was happening at this time in history? (Math, Science, SS, English)

Watch the following video:

  • 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?

Send them a note and ask for samples! Tell them you are using this for a school project  and see what happens!

Activity 7) Challenge the kids to make their own candy... (algorithms, math, computational thinking)

2 Ingredient Lollipops


  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c light corn syrup*


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Pour the candy over lollipop sticks on silpat/parchment {not wax}.
  4. Work quickly and carefully. Press in decorations, if desired.
  5. Edible glitter, dried fruits, drizzled chocolate and etc are all nice add-in options.

Activity 8) Do a demo with your own candy or your kids candy!

  • How much do you have!
  • What do you notice..
    • Colors, packaging, chocolate or sweet?