Candy is great for another awesome STEM activity for kids. Make your own gears at home or in the classroom with candy corn for a Halloween twist. Explore how gears work while you test out your engineering skills.

Explore Gears For Halloween STEM

Join us in making this easy candy corn gears for a cool Halloween STEM activity. It’s perfect for our 31 Days of Halloween STEM Countdown!

Just a few simple materials and you can set up a super fun experiment and afternoon activity for the kids. This fun candy project is a great way to learn about how gears work!

Also check out our fluffy candy corn slime, dissolving candy corn experiment and even a candy catapult.

What Is STEM For Kids?

So you might ask, what does STEM actually stand for? STEM is science, technology, engineering, and math. The most important thing you can take away from this, is that STEM is for everyone!

Yes, kids of all ages can work on STEM projects and enjoy STEM lessons.  STEM activities are great for group work, too!

STEM is everywhere! Just look around.  The simple fact that STEM surrounds us is why it’s so important for kids to be a part of, use, and understand STEM.

Interested in STEM plus ART? Check out all our STEAM Activities!

From the buildings you see in town, the bridges that connect places, the computers we use, the software programs that go with them, and compasses for navigation, STEM is what makes it all possible.

Helpful STEM Resources To Get You Started

Here are a few resources that will help you introduce STEM more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident yourself when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

How Do Gears Work?

Gears are circles that have teeth, or cogs, around their edges. The cogs of each gear fit into the cogs of another. The gears and cogs work together to make things move.

Gears are simple machines that control force. There are examples of gears all around us! Bicycles, watches, cars, factory equipment are all examples of machines that use gears.

What direction do gears move? If you watch carefully, you will notice that with two gears, one will move clockwise, and the other will move counter-clockwise.

Do Smaller Gears Turn Faster?

Yes, smaller gears can turn faster than larger gears when they are part of a gear system. When a smaller gear is connected to a larger gear within a gear system, the smaller gear will rotate faster, but it will require more rotations to cover the same distance as the larger gear.

Check out more simple machine projects for kids!

Get Your FREE Printable Halloween Guide!

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How To Make Gears From Candy


  • Round plastic lids; different sizes are fine.
  • Hammer and nail
  • Candy corn
  • Glue
  • Brads
  • Cardboard
  • Marker


STEP 1. Draw a dot in the center of each plastic lid.

STEP 2. Use a hammer and nail to pierce a hole through the dot in the lid.

STEP 3. Push a brad through hole in each lid. Make sure the lids can turn freely around each brad.

STEP 4. Glue the candy corn around the outside of each lid, making sure to space them evenly to make your gears.

STEP 5. Attach your gears to a piece of cardboard using the brads. Place the larger gear to the left of the smaller one so one candy corn cog of the smaller gear is between two cogs of the larger gear.

What do you think will happen when you turn one of the gears? Which gear turns the fastest? What direction do the gears turn?

More Awesome Halloween STEM Activities

Printable Halloween STEM Activities Pack

150+ Pages of Halloween-Themed Materials!

This Halloween project pack is suitable for home, school, and group use for kids in grades Kindergarten through elementary but is scaleable for many ages and abilities.

What’s Included:

  • 25+ Halloween theme science and STEM activities with printable sheets, instructions, and useful information all using easy-to-source materials perfect for limited-time needs. Includes a Halloween engineering pack with fun, problem-based challenges for kids to solve!
  • The skeleton activity pack includes building a skeleton challenge and a coding challenge! Try a skeleton bones bridge-building STEM challenge!
  • Halloween theme brick printable activities for hands-on learning with math that is perfect for early finishers or home fun and reinforces basic math concepts.
  • Bonus fun pack includes games and activities to round out your Halloween theme activities such as I Spy, bingo, matching, Would You Rather cards, scavenger hunt, word search, A-Z Halloween hunt, and a coloring page.
  • Halloween STEAM Pack includes artist-inspired projects by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and more!