Introduction to Gears & Gear Ratios

What is a gear? How does it work? How does the size of the gear and different gear arrangements impact the overall performance of the gears? In this lesson we answer all of these questions and more. Students will be introduced to gears, and gear ratios. Students will also learn about torque and speed and how to determine if the gear ratio that they are using is utilizing either of these.

The second part of the lesson, after the students are familiarized with gear ratios, focuses on how to incorporate these concepts into their Junior Solar Sprints vehicles. During this portion of the lesson we will discuss how wheel size directly impacts the gear ratio needed to move the vehicle and how to best find the proper ratio to use.

Curriculum Standards

Health & Physical Education

  • 2.1.8.A.3
  • 2.2.8.A.2
  • 2.2.8.B.2
  • 2.2.8.C.1


  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP4
  • CCSS.Math.Practice.MP7
  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.NS.B.3
  • CCSS.Math.Content.6.RP.A.[1-3]
  • CCSS.Math.Content.7.RP.A.[2-3]


  • 5.1.8.A.2
  • 5.1.8.B.[1&2]
  • 5.1.8.D.[1-3]
  • 5.2.8.E.1

Life & Career Skills

  • 9.1.8.A.1
  • 9.1.8.A.4
  • 9.1.8.B.1
  • 9.1.8.C.[1-3]

Sustainable Hunterdon

For more information about
Sustainable Hunterdon contact
Jodi Bettermann 
(908) 788-5553