Outdoor Science Experiments: Keeping Time without Modern Technology

If you lived in ancient Egypt and Babylonia, you didn’t have microwave clocks, wrist watches or cell phones — you had to rely on what was around you to tell time. From recognizing where the sun was in the sky to depending on your internal clock, actually knowing the time was a difficult task. That is, until sundials were invented.

While the time-telling technology of Egypt was nowhere near as precise as today’s tech, it was advanced, with different versions of sundials able to tell everything from the hours left in a day to how close the summer and winter solstices were. In this activity, students return to their ancestral roots as they build sundials to keep track of the hours in the day!

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