Crazy Gears is a new app that teaches children (ages 6-8) about the physical properties of motion using simple gear puzzles. It helps explain these properties in a non-threatening way that make sense, by letting children experiment with different parts and arrangements.
App for iOS - iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch
Crazy Gears was developed by Seven Academy. It is available for iOS devices, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. There are over 60 different gear puzzles included in the app, and progress is stored from one session to the next, so that children don't have to start over each time.
Have a look:
How the App Works-
There are no verbal instructions to follow in Crazy Gears; the only rule is "make the gear work." To do so, children have different parts available: wheels (some anchored, some moveable), gears, chains, and connector bars. By attaching things together, players begin to figure out how to make the wheels move. There is much trial and error learning to see what works and what doesn't work. The first puzzles are quite easy, in order to establish the process and build confidence, but eventually, the number of parts and the order of installation makes the puzzles more challenging.
The first thing children will learn is that a chain hooked up to a spinning wheel causes whatever is hooked up to the chain (by the clamp) to move. Later, by connecting two wheels to each other, they see how the movement of the first wheel causes the second wheel to move as well.
After that, they use smaller, interlocking gears to make wheels turn. The developer recommends play sessions be limited to around 10 minutes to maximize interest while limiting frustration; I would tend to agree with that advice.
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You've probably heard about the educational emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math referred to as STEM. Crazy Gears takes a fundamental concept from the STEM curriculum and presents it in a way that even beginners can understand.
A well-written, thirty-three page handbook is included right in the app; it explains the scientific vocabulary and concepts (including gravity, friction, and tension) at a level appropriate for children. It's a perfect reference manual for both parents and teachers.
In a Nutshell-
Crazy Gears offers a novel way to introduce physics to children and encourage their interest in science, especially if you don't have an assortment of pulleys, gears, chains, etc. laying around. If your child is the one who always wants to see how things work, this is definitely an app to consider.
Crazy Gears is available for download via the iTunes App Store - iOs Universal
Launch Price $0.99/£0.79 - RRP: $1.99/£1.49/€1.99
Review by Julie Peterson, a speech/language pathologist (SLP) currently working in a school setting, serving children with special needs ages 6 to 14. With so many choices available to parents, my goal is to share accurate information about the apps I review, so that you can make smart choices for your children.
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Disclosure: This review was move up the waiting list priority-services. All opinions expressed are purely that of the author.