Gear Table

An orange, purple, red and yellow exhibit table with a white and orange information panel at the back. On top of the table are a series of colourful gears.
An orange, purple, red and yellow exhibit table with a white and orange information panel at the back. On top of the table are a series of colourful gears.

Different sized gears turn at different speeds and force to generate mechanical advantage.

How it works

Arrange all of the gears on the table so their teeth are interlocking. Slowly spin one of the gear wheels and watch what happens.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

  • Count how many times the other gears turn for each time the gear you are spinning turns once.
  • Do the other gears spin at the same speed as the one you are spinning?

Background

Gears are wheels with teeth. They are used in machines to make work easier. When a big gear spins a smaller gear, the smaller gear always spins faster, but with less force. The larger gear spins slower than the small gear, but with greater force.

Finding the science in your world

Many bicycles have gears to make it easier to ride up hills. A car’s gearbox gets the car moving and build up speed.