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WHAT'S THE TIME PLEASE?

Tell the time with your own water clock

Suitable For

Grade 3

Difficulty

2

Time Required

 <12 Hours

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

Since ancient times people needed to be able to tell time. These days, we use digital wrist watches or electric clocks to accurately tell the time, but in the old days telling time was not such a convenient task. They used hourglasses, candle clocks and a device called a water clock.

Do the following science experiment to learn how water can be used to tell time:

Topics covered

Galileo Galilei

What will I need?

  • MARKING PEN
  • STOP WATCH
  • SMALL NAIL
  • BOOKS
  • TAP WATER
  • 2x TRANSPARENT PLASTIC CONTAINERS
  • STICKY TAPE

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

In the above science experiment we have built a timing device or ‘water clock’. This works because of the fact that liquids or water flows out of the small hole in the bottom of the container at a constant rate. All timing devices, even digital watches, use the same fundamental principle that a regular pattern or cycle operates at a constant rate.

In this experiment, the drops of water occur at a known rate allowing us to tell the time. Similarly, the constant swing of a pendulum in a grandfather clock is used to tell the time, or the regular vibrations of a quartz molecule are the basis of a digital watch. The earth’s rotation around the sun is also used to tell time and is how the seasons and years are determined!

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