July 17, 2022

Your Questions Week - How Do Escalators Work? (7-17-2022)

by Chompers

Background show artwork for Chompers

How do escalators work? Our Gimlet friend and escalator expert Max Gibson gives us the answer on today's Chompers!

Where to Listen



>>RACHEL: Good morning, it’s time for Chompers, your twice daily toothbrushing show. 

Start brushing on the top of your mouth. Pick a side, and brush in little circles all the way around each tooth.

>>KIDS: 3, 2, 1 brush!


>>JASMINE: Today’s question is from Oliver. Oliver tell our us what you want to know about?

>>OLIVER: I would like to know how escalators work. 

>>JASMINE: And to answer we asked resident escalator expert, Max.

>>MAX: Hey Jasmine. Yeah. Yeah. I am a huge fan of escalators. I ride them like almost every day. I am always amazed by them because they look like magic. It's like these stairs like normal stairs but they move up it's almost like a magic carpet ride or something. 

>>JASMINE: Right!!!! Switch your brushing to the other side of the top of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and brush the molars in the back too. Ok so you know how they work right?

>>MAX: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. I know a lot about them because one time on the subway I saw this guy fixing an escalator and he told me all about it. So here’s what he told me.


>>MAX: So the first thing you need to know is that escalators are escalators are over 100 years old - older than your grandparents probably. So that means that they were around before people were driving around in cars before people had smartphones and MP 3 players and all that stuff. People were actually getting around on horseback when escalators were invented. 

>>JASMINE: Switch your brushing to the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and don’t brush too hard. Ok so they’re old how do escalators work?

>>MAX: how do escalators work? OK. So think of all the steps as being attached to a big chain. Think of the steps as if they were beads on a big bracelet. 

>>JASMINE: Ok the steps are like beads on a bracelet!

>>MAX: And when you move the bracelet or the chain the beads or the steps they move around with it. 

>>JASMINE: Oh I see!!!

Switch to the other side of the bottom of your mouth…


>>JASMINE: -and brush your front teeth, too. 

>>MAX: So what's happening is the steps move up from the bottom to the top. And when a step reaches the top it flips upside down and moves all the way back to the bottom.

>>JASMINE: So ... while I'm walking on one step, there's a whole other set of steps UNDERNEATH that's just waiting for its turn to get walked on? 

>>MAX: Yeah! It's like this wheel that keeps on spinning. But you can only see one half of it. 

>>JASMINE: that’s so cool!

>>MAX: Yeah so escalators they aren't magic but to me they still look like magic. I love that. 

>>JASMINE: I love that too!


That’s it for Chompers today. Until then, rinse with water before you…

>>kids: 3, 2, 1 spit!


>>JASMINE: Special thanks to Max Gibson our producer friend from GC.