- Some kind of canvas to design your sundial on (e.g. a piece of paper, a paper plate or ground outside)
- A long, thin object to cast a shadow (e.g. a pen/pencil, stick or straw)
- Something to mark the time (e.g. a pen/crayon or chalk on a stone)
- Find a sunny spot in preparation for your sundial. If you’re building it outside, make sure any shade from surrounding objects won’t interfere.
- If you so wish, you can decorate the canvas to your sundial however you want. Otherwise the first step to building your sundial is to pierce your paper plate with your pen. Try to make sure your pen is stuck upright and in the middle of the paper plate.
- Depending on the time, you’ll want to mark a number on your paper plate so you can begin the experiment at that time. For example, you can start at exactly noon and mark a ’12’ at the top of your paper plate.
- Next, head outside to your sunny spot and place your homemade sundial on the ground. Rotate your paper plate until the shadow of the pen lines up with the number you marked on it.
- Over time, the shadow will shift and rotate all around your sundial. Every hour, mark the time on your paper plate to where the shadow of your pen lines up.
- Do this until there is no more sunlight. On the following day, revisit your sundial – can you tell the time based on the direction of the shadow?