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How Does an Escalator Work?



How Does an Escalator Work?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.46

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    many-story, standing, escalator, collapse, conveyor, design, efficient, stairway, works, ordinary, reversible, especially, separate, early, return, lock
     content words:    High Occupancy Vehicle


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How Does an Escalator Work?
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     You step on the escalator. You ride it down to the next floor. Then, just in time, before the step you were standing on disappears under the floor, you step off. But what happens to all of those steps after they disappear under the floor? And how does an escalator work anyway?
 
2     An escalator, once nicknamed a "magic stairway," works like a conveyor belt. Two chains, one on each side, pull the stairs in a constant loop. Once the stairs disappear under the floor, they continue on their way, looping around until they appear again at the other end of the escalator.
 
3     An electric motor, operated at a steady speed at the top of the escalator, turns gears that keep the chains moving. The motor also turns separate gears to move the handrails at the same speed as the stairs. Return gears at the bottom of the escalator turn the chains and handrails for the second half of the loop.

Paragraphs 4 to 10:
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