The sundial is probably the oldest scientific instrument know to man, it dates back to early Egypt around 1500 B.C. In addition to its use by the Egyptians it was also used in ancient Greece and Rome.
In Europe the sundial was the most commonly used method to determine the time, even after the mechanical clock was developed in the 14th century. In Europe sundial was actually used to check and adjust the time on mechanical clocks until late into the 19th century.
Today sundials are mostly used as ornaments in gardens, in shopping
plazas, and other public spaces. But they do make for interesting learning opportunities in Math and Science
1. To acquaint students with, the
history of the sundial and man's early attempts at keeping time.
2. To review some of the mathematical principles associated with the construction and use of a sundial.
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.Math.Content.4.MD.C.5 Recognize angles as geometric shapes that are formed wherever two rays share a common endpoint, and understand concepts of angle measurement:
NGSS: S1 - S3 -S4
This Teaching Model contains two Teacher support pages, A student activity page and a Resource Page I call "Sundial Math" - It explains the math formula used to determine the angles on the sundial base.
John F. Gardner
The Environmental Ed Guy