Measuring Time

In the first part of this unit, students explore the use of natural phenomena, such as the phases of the moon, to keep time. In the second section, students conduct experiments using some of the instruments that have been used to keep time throughout the centuries. They build and experiment with a water clock and investigate the characteristics of the pendulum. Finally, they apply what they have learned to assemble and evaluate a clock escapement and modify the device in order to make it more accurate. The unit provides students with an opportunity to learn how to measure time, to investigate machines, to explore concepts such as energy and motion, and to learn about the science of astronomy.