Sundials have been used to quantify time for more than 3000 years. The simple construction of a gnomon, or shadow caster and a style, or plate for the shadow to be cast on, has existed since Ancient Egypt. This tool was so efficient and useful, that they have been commonly used since the 16th Century.
These crafts encourage kids to act like ancient engineers in creating their own sundials. Both of these sundials come from rural roots, where it was more difficult to hear a belltower. These sundials are united under the same need in a rural setting, even though they originated on different continents.
The purpose of this activity is to create hands-on science. The builder has the ability to observe what the construction process is like, and then tests their product. Observing natural phenomena can be a difficult concept to grasp. This activity and it’s templates are simplified to make observation as simple as possible. Follow the instructions on each template and you should have an easy time observing.