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Intro to Gear Technology:

1. How can you get one gear to turn another in the opposite direction?
Place the two gears next to each other so that they are close enough to touch. Then spin
one of the gears and the other should spin in the opposite direction.

2. How can you get one gear to turn another in the same direction?
If you add a third gear, the first gear will turn the second gear in the opposite direction and
the second gear will turn the third gear in the same direction as the first.

3. If you have three meshed gears and the first one turns clockwise, which way does the
third one turn?
The third gear will spin clockwise.

4. How can you turn a gear once and have another gear turn twice?
If you make the first gear twice the size of the first gear, it will spin twice when the first
gear spins once.

5. If you have 101 meshed gears and the first one turns clockwise, which way does the
101st gear turn? Clearly explain your answer and how you arrived at that answer.
If the first gear in a 101 meshed gear series turns clockwise, the 101st gear will turn
clockwise. This follows our pattern in question number three. The odd gears turn in the
same direction as the first gear.

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Gear Science:
1. When you put two gears together and turn one, does it push or pull the other gear?
How do you know?
The first gear pushes the second gear. The teeth of the first gear moves toward the teeth
of the second gear and the second gear’s teeth move away.

2. How could you use gears and a piece of string to lift a paper clip without touching it?
If you tape a piece of string to a gear tower with a peg sticking out of it. The gear could be
an odd gear. If I turn the driving gear counter-clockwise, the gear with the string attached
will wind up the string.

3. How do gears transfer energy from one place to another?


The source of energy comes from the person turning the driving gear. The person
converts chemical energy to do work by turning the driving gear, the driving gear then
transfers its kinetic energy to the next gear and so on.

Gear Math:
1. Find a pair of gears such that if you turn one gear twice, the other gear will turn once.
How many teeth are there on each of the 2 gears?
The larger gear has 40 teeth and the smaller gear has 20 teeth. As the larger gear turns
once as the smaller gear turns twice.
2. Find a pair of gear such that if you turn one of the gears 3 times the other gear turns 4
times. How many teeth are on each of the two gears?
The bigger gear has 40 teeth and the smaller gear has 30 teeth.
3. How can you mathematically represent the data collected in questions 1 and 2?
20/40 = ½ (so for every one turn of the first gear, the other will turn twice)
30/40 = 3/4 (so for every three turns of the first gear, the other will turn four times)
4. Choose several different pairs of gears and predict how many times the second gear
will turn if the first gear turns once, twice or three times. Explain how you made your
prediction using mathematical terms.
12/40 = 3/10 (so for every three rotations of the big gear, the little gear will move ten
times)
12/24 = ½ (so for every one rotation of the big gear, the little gear will move two times)
If you simplify the ratio of the number of teeth (by dividing) you can predict how many
rotations each of the gears will move. The larger (driver) gear will move the same as the
numerator and the smaller gear will move as many times as the denominator.
5. Which pair of gears will result in the most turns of the first gear to get an integer number
of turns on the second gear? Explain your reasoning.
If you spin a gear with 12 teeth to move a gear with 40 teeth, the smaller gear will move
10 times for every 3 times the bigger gear moves.
12/40 = 3/10