Skip to main content
Teacher Portal

Mechanical Advantage Preview

  • 12-18 years old
  • 180 minutes
  • Beginner
Preview image


Learners explore how mechanical advantages and gear ratios can be applied in their builds, daily lives, and in robotics competitions.

Key Concepts

  • Mechanical advantage

  • Speed

  • Torque

  • Gear Ratio


  • Create torque and/or speed advantages in designs

  • Analyze situations to know what type of gear ratio is needed in a design

  • Apply concepts of torque and speed advantages to understand new devices

  • Understand how to design and create devices with mechanical advantages from VEX V5 parts

Materials needed

  • VEX V5 Classroom Starter Kit

  • Engineering Notebook

Facilitation Notes

  • Ensure all required parts for the build are available prior to starting this STEM Lab.

  • Turning the high-geared end of the gearbox build may be difficult. Be sure to have Shaft Coupler pieces on hand to attach pieces that will be more easy to turn.

  • You can use different gears to adjust some of the gearing ratios within the build.

Further Your Learning


  • Continue to work with other gears and utilize ratios to determine patterns in usage.

  • Watch videos of racing and try to find examples of gear ratios and torque in real world usage.

Educational Standards

Standards for Technological Literacy (STL)

  • 1.L

  • 2.V

  • 2.X

  • 2.FF

  • 3.J

  • 7.E

  • 9.I

  • 9.J

  • 9.K

  • 12.N

  • 12.O

  • 16.C

  • 17.A

  • 17.K

  • 19.P

  • 20.L

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

  • HS-ETS1-2

  • HS-PS2-1

  • HS-PS2-2

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

  • 6.EE.A.2

  • 6.NS.C.5

  • 7.EE.B.3

  • MP.2

  • RST.11-12.7

  • RST.11-12.8

  • RST.11-12.9

  • RST.6-8.1

  • RST.6-8.3

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

  • 111.39.c.1.B

  • 111.39.c.1.A

  • 111.39.c.1.B

  • 111.39.c.1.C