Thousands of years ago, there was never a clock to know the time. Telling the time was through the sun and it had been a usual routine before. It is good to note that we can tell the time without the use of a clock and with the use of just a sundial. In this science fair experiment, we are going to make a sundial and enjoy the feeling of creativity. Eventually, we will be able to tell the time even without looking at the clock.


  • How can we determine the time without looking at the clock?
  • How is a sundial made?


We will know the time through a sundial and it is easy to fabricate.


  • styrofoam cup with a plastic lid
  • straw
  • a watch
  • permanent marker
  • pencil
  • tape
  • small pebbles
  • a compass


  1. Once you have gathered your materials, you are ready to build a sundial.
  2. Use the pencil to poke a hole in the side of the cup about two inches below the top.
  3. Put the pebbles in the cup so it doesn’t fall over
  4. Put the lid on the cup.
  5. Put the straw through the hole in the lid and through the hole in the side of the cup, letting it stick out the hole on the side of the cup about half an inch.
  6. Tape the straw in place.
  7. Now you are ready to try out your sun dial.
  8. Start using your sundial on a sunny morning when you are going to be home for the day.
  9. Find a spot out in the open that is going to be in the sun for the majority of the day.
  10. Make sure there are no trees or building in the way and set your sun dial on a level surface.
  11. Use the compass to find north, and then turn your cup so the straw is pointing towards the north.
  12. At 10 a.m. use the marker to mark where the shadow from the straw falls on the lid of the cup, and repeat this every hour until 3 p.m.


Make sure to record the time by the shadows. Compare it to the watch time. Find out if its exactly the same or there are variances.


Based on the Results and Analysis of Data, a conclusion can be directly made.

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