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July 18, 2014

Gear Up: Lesson using bigshot camera

The children in Udavi 6th grade had assembled the bigshot camera and taken pictures. They had also taken note of some of the components of the camera. We started with the gear box to learn more about gears, how they work and what kind of math they would need to learn to appreciate and predict what happens.

The obvious gears that the kids knew about was my gear cycle. We flipped the bicycle upside down and the kids counted the gears. The kids tried to find more efficient ways to count and finally concluded with 42 teeth. They then went out to count the number of gears. We had seen a couple of videos on gears including Aravind gupta video on making it from cardboard. We talked about whether the smaller or the larger is a higher gear, what the additional gears that are always engaged (derailleurs) do. 

Thanks to the video most kids were able to conclude that the smaller the diameter in the back wheel the higher the gear. When we got to the ratio of the chain wheel vs the back wheel the kids were ok with the gear with 21 teeth for a ratio of 2:1, but got stuck on 28 teeth. It was a note on what we will be learning this year to be able to talk about it by the end of the year.

I also demonstrated with a few gears how we could make a model with different kinds of gears to rotate small (fast) and large wheels (slower) when they are coupled. We then looked at a gear game Kogworks which seemed appropriate and looked at the patters that can be formed and whether the wheels still spin if the number of gears in a loop are even or odd...

One of the kids the brought his toy car and opened it up to reveal that he noticed gears in it. He showed how pulling the wheels back cocks the large gear and releasing it makes the smaller one that drives the wheels of the car move.

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