STEAM Park

Gears

In this lesson, children will learn about how gears work.

0-30 min.
Advanced
Pre-K
gears

The Science behind the Play (Notes for Teachers)

Gears are a rotating part of a machine with teeth that can interlock with another gear. The design of gears makes them able to transfer torque, or the force that causes the rotation.

Connect

Ask the children to find all of the elements that spin, and explain that spinning parts can be useful.

Tell the children gears are parts of a machine that are used to make other parts turn.

Have the children demonstrate how the spinning elements work, then ask them to line the gears up in a row and place them so that when they move one of the gears, all of the gears move.

Consider asking questions like:

  • Which way do the gears turn?
  • What happens when you interlock a large gear with a small gear?
  • What happens when you interlock two gears of the same size?

Tell the children that you are going to read the beginning of a story about a group of people who are preparing STEAM Park for its daily visitors. You can show them the inspiration photo or use the figures to act out the scene.

gears-inspiration

Read the following story aloud:

“We need a new gate to make the park look nice and to control how many people enter the park at a time,” said Parker, the park manager.

“I have some large gears in my garage. My dad brought them home from his factory and gave them to me. We could use them to build a new gate,” Teresa said.

“Great idea! I also have some bricks and other pieces we could use,” Parker said.

Tip:
Interlocking gears in different ways causes them to move slower or faster and to turn clockwise or counterclockwise.

Construct

Show the children the inspiration photo for the Connect phase and ask them to identify which parts of the models move.

Ask them to build their own models of gates that open and close.

Contemplate

Ask the children to test their gates and make improvements.

Consider asking questions like:

  • How do you make the gate open and close?
  • Can a figure fit through the opening?

Continue

Ask the children to create a double gate that opens from the left and right so that both sides can be opened at the same time to allow more people to move through at one time.

Did you notice?

Observing the following skills can help you monitor whether the children are developing the necessary competencies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math.

  • Using technology such as simple gears and wheels in appropriate ways
  • Asking questions about science and technology related concepts
  • Experimenting/testing “what would happen if” questions
  • Observing and describing what happens

Teacher Support

Children will:

  • Interlock gears
  • Make the gears turn

Children are able to:

  • Use technology such as simple gears and wheels in appropriate ways
  • Ask questions about science and technology related concepts
  • Experiment/test “what would happen if” questions
  • Observe and describe what happens