Learning sequence: Learn about gears

az_legoclassThis suggested sequence of activities begins with an exploration of simple hand-powered gear trains. The second and third activities use gears to decrease the rotational speed of motor-powered music boxes and fans. The last three activities incorporate gears into cars so that they can win a “snail race” or climb steep ramps.

This learning sequence is appropriate for third grade and above, but third grade teachers may want to choose just three or four of these activities. Students should already have experience with LEGO building and programming.

A WeDo, RCX, NXT, or EV3 kit is required for all but the “Exploring Gears” activity.

Programming is required for the Fan-tastic and Music Box activities (unless you try “Silent” Music Boxes!). The other activities require programming only to turn motors on at a constant power level.

  1. Exploring Gears
  2. Music Box
  3. Fan-tastic
  4. Snail Car
  5. Ramp Climber

See also Learning sequence: Learn to build with LEGO.


The following two tabs change content below.


The Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) in Boston, Massachusetts, is dedicated to improving engineering education in the classroom, from Kindergarten to college. The Center houses faculty, staff, and graduate students from engineering disciplines and the education department.

Latest posts by CEEO (see all)