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Sundial Category: Geography
Dated: 2011-05-10
In this experiment you’ll get to build your own sundial. With it, you can keep time the way ancient civilizations did. As the sun rises and sets, it makes shadows of different lengths and angles. What a sundial does is track the location of the shadow that the sun makes, and it uses that location to determine the time of day.

Steps to be taken

  1. Poke a hole in the middle of the paper plate large enough for the pencil to fit through.
  2. Stick the pencil through the plate. Make sure the bottom of the pencil is facing up.
  3. Place the end of the pencil in a lump of clay below the plate to anchor it down.
  4. Use the compass to locate the true north and place your sundial in an open space with the pencil pointing slightly to the north. (This method works for anyone who lives in the Northern Hemisphere. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll point the pencil to the south.)
  5. At 8.00 in the morning, mark on the sundial the location of the pencil’s shadow. Label it “8:00 A.M.” Repeat this step every two hours until sunset. Your sundial is ready!
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  • Sturdy paper plate
  • Unsharpened pencil
  • Modelling clay
  • Compass
  • Marking pen