Instructions Technical Details 2018-07-16T08:55:06+00:00

Educational Interactive Sundials


Children are naturally curious and enthusiastic to learn about the world around them.

Due to the earth’s rotation there is a difference in the times in different countries around the world.

A concept hard to understand for children, is that it can be midday in their country and midnight in another.

Until they understand that it is the earth rotating on its axis that causes this phenomena.

What students learn by interacting with a Human Sundial

Students determine the time of day by standing centrally on the date scales appropriate month facing South standing with one foot either side of the North South centre line of the date scale.

The correct position is found by trial and error mainly by standing where they think the actual days date is on the appropriate month.

During the summer when their shadows are shorter they can place both arms vertically above their head palms facing together if their shadow fails to reach the hour point marks.

It is the declination of the sun that actually determines the daily position of where to stand on the date scale.

N.B. – If your location uses Daylight Saving Time, please add or subtract 1 hour to the time determined when reading the time on your human sundial.

Rotation of the Earth.

The rotation of the earth on its axis can be demonstrated by the students standing on the date scale facing South and monitoring the movement of their shadow throughout the day.

As it travels from West to East during the morning hours through to the hours of the afternoon.

Children are surprised to learn that the sun is stationary and it is the action of the earth rotating on its axis that causes the sun to rise in the East and set in the West.

Revolution of the Earth around the Sun

Revolution of the Earth around the sun and the fact that the Earth is tilted 23.5° from the vertical on its axis is the main reason for the different seasons.

Not the fact that the Earth may be a little closer to the sun at certain times of the year.

A little known fact… at the time of the Northern Hemisphere winter the Earth is actually at its closest approach to the sun in its orbit.

The changing seasons depend on the actual position of where the earth is in its orbit.

Sometimes the Southern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun giving Australia and New Zealand their summer…

All this can be demonstrated by the students noting which months of the year to stand on, on the date scale during the course of the year.

Recording that as the earth moves in its orbit the sun appears to move from North to South, our winter to summer, with the sun crossing the equator on the 23rd September and reaching its maximum point South on December the 22nd.

As the earth continues in its orbit the sun appears to move from South to North, crossing the equator again on the 21st March and reaching its maximum point North on the 21st June.

The earth travels a distance of 585 million miles during its yearly revolution around the sun at an average speed of 18.5 miles per second.

Fact the more actively involved children are in their learning the more lasting knowledge they will gain.

Seasons Simulator (NAAP)

Shows the geometry of the earth and sun over the course of a year demonstrating how seasons occur.

This simulator allows both orbital and celestial sphere representations of the seasonal motions.

Click on the image to try out the interactive Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator.

Seasons Simulator NAAPThanks to the http://astro.unl.edu/ for this Seasons and Ecliptic Simulator Resource.

For more information please use our enquiry form,
email George Marshall – info@sunclocksaustralia.com
or Call 07 4125 6403 or 0490 253 266