Curriculum for planetariums

& STEAM topics

Measurement of time using a Sundial - Planetarium oriented Research work in astronomy


Grades: Elementary School - High School
Subject: Time measuring – building a Sundial


Intended Learning Outcomes
In this segment we will learn how to measure the local time using astronomical bodies. A Sundial will be constructed from cardboard or paper - and we shall measure time by the relative position of the sun in the sky.

We will also discuss the interesting relationship between Sundials and Mars.

In this restless era in which we live, we tend to forget that we are totally dependent on one star - the sun.
The sun is one of the foundations upon which life is based and has been used for thousands of years as a tool for measuring time.

The shadow from the cone of the sundial (genome) moves in accordance with the movement of the sun in the sky.
Initially, the place where the shadow falls was divided into two main parts, using a pre-set scale, allowing people to identify the local 'half a day'.

Around 1500 BC a more advanced clock was used: the clock was divided into smaller units of time - the hour.

If you were under the assumption that the Sun Clock era is over given the development of today's technology – prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

Instructions for building a sundial:
1. Print the sundial from the Emerald curriculum digital pack
2. Cut the clock and the gnomon (the triangle), around the marked lines
3. Fold the clock on the dotted lines. See picture for illustration
4. Cut the line marked in the center of the clock, and insert the gnome

Included hand book and online resources

Strategies for Diverse Learners
Booklet activities

Emerald Planetariums Technologies
Live-observatory-planetarium connection [L.O.P.C]
Planetarium simulation software MV2


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