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Why is riding a bicycle faster than running?

This project is focused around gears. Often mistakenly added to lists of simple machines, gears are actually compound machines. A common component in many mechanical devices, developing an understanding of how gears work allows students to better understand how devices in their lives work, and to tackle interesting engineering challenges.

In this investigation, students explore the fundamentals of how gears work, including mated gears of different sizes. They then work through the engineering design process as they iterate and test a design that utilises gears to change the speed, the size, or the direction of an input force to perform a task of their choosing.

Build Guides

To do so, students will be required to build the following projects as part of the ‘Why is riding a bicycle faster than running?’ lesson set:

  • The uniform gearbox
  • The mixed gearbox

Concepts

Use this lesson to guide your students while investigating and exploring the following aspects of physical science and/or engineering:

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