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Weather experiment learning about sundials

Posted at 7:06 AM, May 06, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS — In elementary school we all learn how to tell time on a clock….but have you ever learned how to tell time using the sun? Today we are going to learn how to make and use a sundial! So lets get started!

What you need:
- Paper plate
- Marker
- Pencil
- Ruler

Step 1: decorate the paper plate to look like a clock

Step 2: evenly label all the coordinating numbers on your paper plate clock 1 through 12

Step 3: poke a hole in the center of the plate for the pencil

Step 4: stand the pencil up through the center hole in the plate and head outside!

Step 5: position your number 12 on the clock facing north so you can get the accurate current time

We just made a sundial! In ancient times people relied on sundials to mark the passing hours and minutes just like a clock does. Sundials measure time by the position of the sun.

The earth revolves around the sun at a constant speed. On earth to us it looks like the sun rises in the east and then sets in the west moving across the sky in a predictable way. With a sundial you can use that sun to pretty accurately tell time throughout the day.

Nearly every sundial has two basic parts. First, a pointer called a style or gnomon which casts a shadow and then a numbered dial on which the shadow falls to show the hour.

There you have it, we just made a sundial! Send our meteorologist Candace Monacelli your pictures doing this experiments at home! She will feature future meteorologists on my facebook page daily!