Site icon Liesl Garner

Shifting Gears back to Mechanics and Math

After the heaviness of the most recent dinnertime topic, it was a relief to get back to How Things Work again tonight. This time my husband jumped in, because I was trying to explain how a gear shifting mechanism works, simply based on a rudimentary understanding of the idea, without any real hands on experience. He let me flounder for only a minute, and then asked if I’d like him to tell the boys how gears actually work. Whew.

He pulled out various sizes of glasses from the cupboards, and showed a one-to-one ratio of movement, and then how a two-to-one ratio would mean that you could pedal the same speed, and the tire would now go faster. Then he started explaining the gear mechanism itself. It was fun to see both boys’ minds clicking along to keep up and interjecting comments as they were grasping the concepts.

They all like to build things. They are starting on their first project in a little bit. They have the truck, now they need a parts truck. They will all be covered in grease in no time, that is when they are not covered in mud, muck, hay, or feathers. Such is life on a farm.

Ben is eight and we are thinking that by the time he is old enough to drive, he may just have a Rat-Rod built to drive to school. How cool would that be?


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