Gears Tinker Set



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.

This activity comes with downloadable 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.

Completing the

Gears Tinker Set Activity


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: 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.


TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need

What tools will you need to do this activity?


Recommended Tool

Alternate Tool

Cutting strips and wire


Saw, Pruning Shears

Hammering and Tapping

Hammer (optional)



Hold the nuts while tightening screws

Tapping Block



Sets of tools can be found here.

Make your bridge even better by incorporating recycling bin material.

Gears Tinker Set Components

What's in the Gears Tinker Set Activity?

Component: 10pk Quantity: Single Quantity:
Hole Plates 20 2
50 Tooth Gears 20 2
40 Tooth Gears 20 2
20 Tooth Gears 20 2
10 Tooth Gears 20 2
Dowels 100 10
Perpendicular Blocks 100 10
Connector Strips 20 2
3in Slide Stop 10 1


This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 5 and above with adult supervision.

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