Question Sheet: Tinkering With the Basic Bike


Before reading:

  1. If you had the opportunity, what would you change about your bicycle?
  2. How could you prove that your bicycle is better than your friend’s?
  3. What do you think happens at an international science fair?

During reading:

  1. How does Renato convert mechanical energy into electrical energy?
  2. Why did Ronak and Anish start trying to build a chainless bicycle?
  3. How did Ronak and Anish show that their bicycle was better than its conventional counterpart?
  4. Why did Mackenzie measure both her maximum speed and the average speed for every set of wheels she tested?

After reading:

  1. Renato says that, with improvements, his Multibike could help bring electricity to remote regions of the rainforest. What other kinds of activities could you imagine his bike being used for?
  2. Design your own bike experiment. What materials do you need? How will you record your data? Try to predict the results.
  3. What were the different motivations and perspectives that led Renato, Ronak, Anish, and Mackenzie to their specific bicycle experiments?
  4. Why is it important to bring people together from many countries to discuss their scientific experiments?


  1. Imagine you were a judge at the science fair. Compare the three experiments that were discussed in the article, and write an assessment of who deserves a prize and why.
  2. What will bicycles look like in the future? Draw your own futuristic bicycle. Be sure to label and explain all of your innovations.


  1. How far in miles is Anish’s bike ride to school?
  2. How fast in miles per hour did Mackenzie’s bicycle go when she used the specialty wheels?
  3. What sort of data and calculations did Ronak and Anish use to figure out how much time they’d save by not using a chain?