Cogs and Gears!

Age 7 to 11
Challenge Level

Why do this problem?

This activity involves looking, exploring and thinking further, all in the process of being curious. The more pupils progress through the activity, the greater the opportunities for learners to open new doors to move further and further.
The activity also opens out the possibility of pupils asking “I wonder what would happen if . . .?”. Children's curiosity when working on this activity can take them to many different places. The children's perseverance can be witnessed by the teacher, the activity helping the pupils to persevere to search for more and more. While they are working on their explorations there is present the catalyst for resilience being developed by each pupil.

Possible approach

Some pupils will receive enough imput by just being presented with the activity as shown on the site with the addition of the other size cogs being downloaded. If you have available some pupils will need to play with the cogs of different sizes from their construction kits. Because this activity is aimed at allowing pupils to be curious about "what happens when . . ." the only extra part of the teacher's approach is to make sure the pupils know that almost "anything goes" and to feel the freedom to explore. There are no required answers.

Key questions

What have you been doing with the cogs you've chosen?
Have you noticed anything that you can tell me about? Then tell me.

Possible extension

Give pupils the opportunity to develop and explore their noticings so that they have some "rules" that they develop about what happens.

Further extension 

Here is a video,which you can view"full screen" and then return to this page.
The "46 teeth cog" is motorised, see what happens to the other cogs. 


Possible support

There may be some who need to work one to one with the construction materials that have cogs in order to make a start.