Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2012
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Geared 2!

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Send a hamster flying off his wheel by choosing the right gears

Common Sense says
Teachers say (2 Reviews)
$avg_user_learning_rating
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Grades
3-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Geared 2! is easy to start playing but keeps increasing the challenge.

Cons: Without hints or help, kids may eventually get stuck at a challenging level.

Bottom Line: Students will need to use logic and trial-and-error skills to learn how gears work.

Teachers could incorporate Geared 2! into a unit on simple machines that already has students working hands-on with gears and other simple machines.

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This engaging puzzler teaches physics and simple machines. Students must position gears so the teeth meet and the gears rotate. As students try to guide a gear into position, its color changes to let them know whether it can be placed or not. If so, kids see -- somewhat graphically -- how gears can increase the speed of the source. For example, a hamster wheel rotates so much faster once the gears are in place that the hamster flies right off! Other details are amusing; the hamster makes a fun "yawn" sound effect when he’s bored because the gears aren’t moving fast enough, and he squeals when he’s flung.

Once he flies off, students see a report showing how long it took them to solve the level, how many moves they made, the distance they dragged the gears, the difficulty level, and how many levels they’ve completed.

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The silly fun and challenging physics of Geared 2! will encourage kids to use logic and strategy to solve each puzzle. As the challenges build and students need to add obstacles, they'll use critical thinking and trial-and-error tests. Each level gets a bit more difficult, and the 60 levels will keep them challenged for quite a while. They can also create their own puzzles using the level editor or play puzzles created by other players.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
4

This well-developed physics puzzler is fun and challenging. Kids will get a kick out of learning how gear quantity and size impact speed as they see the hamster flung from his wheel.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

Geared 2! slowly ramps up the difficulty level but kids will find endless challenge in the 60 official levels and the create-your-own level editor.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
2

Without hints or help, kids may get stuck at a challenging level. They can see their scores and performance data at each level and in the statistics category.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

3
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Featured review by
Gary S. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Webster City Middle School
Webster City, IA
3
Good interactive stretch activity

I don't see this app being used in a teacher's mandated curriculum. While Geared 2 is entertaining and challenging the further you get into it, the one benefit I see from working with it is using logical thinking skills. The lack of a help section drops this app down the list of useful apps, in my opinion. I kept looking for the hints, but never did find them. Some on the screen helpful prompts would have been great. Instead, I was left to totally guess how to work the app. Once I got stuck, there was nothing to help me progress. Geared 2 would be good as an extension activity for most students, especially those advanced learners that always seem to finish their work early."

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