This week we’re introducing a new feature of the blog: STEM News Tips. Every week we’ll be bringing you short introductions to recent publications and current events in physics, physics education, and adjacent fields.

 This week, we’re checking out a new paper from Timo Reuter and Miriam Leuchter in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. ( In Children's concepts of gears and their promotion through play, Reuter &Leuchter surveyed how young people came to understand a simple machine through hands-on interaction. Interactive and experiential learning is a vital part of modern STEM education, and something we try to promote through our demonstrations and programs.

 The relationship between turning direction, turning speed, and the arrangement and size of interacting gears is a basic concept in introductory mechanics. Before students can truly comprehend the mathematics of force and torque, they need to have an intuitive familiarity with how such objects interact in the real world. It’s valuable to take a look at how young children begin to grasp these concepts years before they come to high school and university physics classrooms.

 Check out the article here!