Making clocks

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By John Davisteacher and freelance writer

Create simple water-powered clocks in your classroom.

Archaeological evidence shows that water clocks were developed by ancient civilisations like the Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Greeks and may have been used in China as early as 4000 BC. In Ancient Greece the science of timekeeping by using water was known as clepsydra (which literally means ‘to steal water’). Water clocks in ancient times became particularly useful when the Sun went down although the Greeks also used them in the daytime to limit the time of speeches. Clocks used either water moving in or out of the device. More sophisticated water clocks rang gongs or bells, moved pointers or dials or opened small doors or windows like those on cuckoo clocks.

Experiment One

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