Running Late? Keep on time Roman style!

TEMPUS FUGIT ('Time flees' - this Latin phrase is often written on old clocks!)

You'll need... plastic containers like hot chocolate tubs, plastic cups, water! A stop clock would be helpful too.

Imagine you live in ancient Rome, and have an important appointment to attend at 10:30am. How are you going to get there on time without modern clocks and time-keeping devices? Of course, there were sun dials, but these only work if the sun is out! So what did the Romans use? Or were they just always late?! The answer is...

A Roman water-clock!

To construct a water clock, you will need a plastic container, like an old hot chocolate tub.
Put a hole in the bottom of the plastic cup, and place it so it sits in the rim of the tub - hopefully it will be the right size not to fall through! If not, you may need some sellotape.
Pour some water into the cup, and using a clock, measure how long it takes for the water to pass through.
Make a mark on the side of the tub with the time taken for the water to reach this level.
You can then experiment with different amounts of water.

You have a water clock! If you like you can decorate it with Roman numerals and images of your choice.

The Iris Project
24 Green Ridges
Headington
Oxford
OX3 8PL

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