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This column provides an inside look at the marvels of engineering in everyday life. In this issue the authors use wind-up toys to introduce students to how gears interact.
A selection from Science Scope—December 2012
This article was great since it told exactly what items would be needed to complete this activity along with a sample of what to give the students. The write up included procedure and data chart that can be used in class directly as is and no need to even change it.
Jaime Kupfner (Parkersburg, WV)
Students learn about gears in this 5 E Learning Model of an engineering activity developed for middle school students. Students look at the gears ratios by inspecting gears used in toys. Students should learn that the number of times a gear turns is dependent on the number of its
teeth and the number of teeth on the gear that is turning it. This activity also provides an extension. This can learning can be applies to energy and work as well.
Adah (San Antonio, TX)
The authors use the 5E model with activities to help students understand gears and gear ratios. Through the use of inexpensive wind up toys, many available at Dollar Stores, students are able to actively engage with how the toys move through gear and springs. I have used these activities with my middle school students and they are utterly fascinated with what they learn. After a couple of toys, my students were able to diagram the energy transfers.
Sandy Gady (Renton, WA)
This is an excellent article containing a 5E lesson plan on gears. It gives a concise, yet detailed history of gears also. The lesson plan uses wind up toys that contain gears and are very inexpensive. The lesson also incorporates the study of how each gear effects other gears when used in unison.
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)
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