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Hi tvance929,

This gadget was created to help students learn how ratios work, in a hands-on way. The "T" on the gears stands for the number of teeth. So, if you connect the 8 tooth gear with the 16 tooth, the 8 will go around twice for one revolution of the 16. The arrows are just there to help line things up. Additionally, by adding a middle gear you can prove that the ratios stay the same, but the direction changes.

Hope that helps,

Bernie (SSW)