Gears Tinker Set Activity Documents

Gears Tinker Set Activity Documents

Gears Tinker Set Activity Document Downloads

Revision 2.1
Updated 12/03/2019

What happens when gears are connected? Do they rotate together, at the same speed, direction or with similar force? Truly experience gears through this activity; growing understanding through tinkering, experimentation and even engineering amusement park rides.

Scroll down to download engineering challenges and optional labs. For ages 5 through 13 (different challenges/labs for different ages). Optional activities teach about fractions, ratios, proportions and mechanical advantage.

The TeacherGeek Maker Tool Set is required for construction.

Document Downloads


MS Word or PDF - Which document format should you download? Always download the PDF document, unless you want to edit/change it. If you want to edit/change the document, download the MS Word (Microsoft Word) version.

      Set-Up Guide      

Just got your Tinker Set? Start here to get it set-up. Then move on to our labs or challenges!

      Optional Challenges      

  • Optional Obstacle Course Challenge: PDF or MS Word -- Students design a moving, spinning obstacle course! Recommended for Grades 1-3.
  • Optional Kinetic Sculpture Challenge: PDF or MS Word -- Students use gears to make interactive art or dioramas. Recommended for Grades 1-5.
  • Optional Amusement Park Challenge: PDF or MS Word --Students design as many amusement park rides as possible. Recommended for Grades 3-8.

      Optional Labs      

These labs give students a hands-on way to investigate fractions, ratios, and proportions!

  • Fraction Lab: PDF or MS Word --Students use gears as a manipulative to learn about fractions. Covers all 3rd grade CCSS fraction standards; recommended for Grades 3-4.
  • Ratio & Proportion Lab: PDF or MS Word --Students graph bridge deflect

      Optional Resources      

Classroom Overview

  • Classroom Overview: PDF or MS Word--A brief overview of the Gears Tinker Set documents and their standards (NGSS, CCSS for Math and CCSS for ELA).

Mechanical Advantage Activity

  • Mechanical Advantage Activity: PDF or MS Word--Students feel mechanical advantage and have the option of calculating it. This is a great resource to use concurrently with a challenge.

Engineering Notebook

Engineering Notebook Bridges

Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle thru the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities.

  • Simple Engineering Notebook: PDF
  • Engineering Notebook: PDF

STEAM Market-It Challenge

Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.

Zoetropes & Thaumatropes with Gears

While not an official activity, you can use gears to create motion pictures! Check out the JPEG for inspiration. 

  • Zoetropes & Thaumatropes: JPEG

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

Next Generation Science Standards
NGSS Standards Download - PDF
NGSS Standards Spreadsheet - Editable /Searchable Excel Sheet

International Technology & Engineering Educators' Association Standards
ITEEA Standards Download - PDF
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet - Editable/Searchable Excel Sheet