In our gear workshop, our kid sized creators were introduced to some hardware that they used to create their very own gear mechanisms. We learned about bolts, nuts and washers. We also taught the kiddies “Righty Tighty” & “Lefty Lucy” to help them with directional turning of their tools.
The Makers then learned about gears, cobs (the teeth of the gears), ratios, gear trains, power, and torque. They practiced fixing the gears onto the boards with the bolts, washers and nuts and practiced spinning the gears. They worked to cohesively engage the gear cogs into each other on their gear boards. Some children were successful and some children took a few attempts.
They disassembled the gears to paint them to their liking. Some created patterns on their gears and others wanted to design their board with full solid colors on each gear.
The Makers then reassembled the gear boards. This time they learned about the concept of leverage. It was observed that when a smaller gear interlocked with the larger gear, there would be less effort to spin the smaller gear to make the larger gear rotate. Additionally, with the gear train, only one gear needs to spin and cause all other interlocking gears to rotate. The amount of work and effort needed to spin all the wheels is less because of the way the pieces work together. This gear board is a demonstration of a simple machine, a mechanical device where the force that is applied is multiplied.