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Peeps: A Scientific Investigation



peepsStudents in Mrs. Alcaro’s second grade class used Peeps, a staple of Easter baskets around the country, to learn about the challenges of engineering and scientific inquiry.

The lesson began with students by identifying who is a Peep fan, who does not like them (Mrs. Alcaro was alone in this category), and who has never tried a Peep. Students then were asked to describe the characteristics of Peeps; their smell, shape, and finally their taste.

Students then discovered how Peeps interact with other substances. Peeps were placed three cups containing three different liquids; water, sprite, and a vinegar/baking soda mixture. Did you know Peeps float? Students recorded observations of how the Peeps interacted with each liquid initially and how the Peeps looked after soaking in the liquids for 30 minutes.

peeps2The final Peep activity of the day was to build a structure as tall as possible using only Peeps and drinking straws. Students first had to plan their structure and draw out their design prior to building. Students then learned that Peeps will not soon replace Legos as the building block of choice for children. As the students began building, they found the need to alter their original plans in order to deal with the challenges inherent in building a structure with marshmallows.

Thanks to Mrs. Alcaro for planning this great, hands-on activity for her students. I doubt these students will ever look at a Peep the same way again.


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