Time

This list provides further ideas and resources for teachers taking part in the BBC Terrific Scientific campaign. It offers activities linked to time, light and shadows and Earth and Space.

Links and Resources

Astronaut reaction speed

This activity includes a game-based approach to measuring reaction speed. Fast reflexes are vital to astronauts who may need to deal with rapidly escalating incidents and high-speed projectiles.

The effect of distraction on reaction speed is investigated – students collect multiple readings and take averages, discussing the validity of results.

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Stay Sharp

This cross-curricular resource for primary schools looks at reaction-time for astronauts and distances travelled by the International Space Station in that time.

Children learn about the body and how nerves allow us to respond to events. They develop systems for measuring reaction times using everyday equipment and then move into simple computer programming to create a similar system. They sequence an algorithm used for timing and can remix an existing Scratch program or make their own.

publication year
2010 to 2019

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The Spinning Earth

In this activity, children are introduced to the rotating Earth and the concept of longitude. They will carry out arithmetic that relates the 24 hour clock with the Earth’s rotation. The questions in the activity require an understanding of angle: one hour being equal to 15 degrees rotation of the Earth.

publication year
2010 to 2019

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Time Zones

This film is aimed at secondary, but may be used with upper primary learners. It looks at time zones around the planet and how these changes affect people.

The key points made in the film are:

•There are 24 time zones, which are regions on Earth that are bound by longitudinal lines.
•Local time depends on what time zone you are in.
•The system of Greenwich Mean Time was established in 1884, and by 1929 most countries had aligned their clocks accordingly.
•At any given moment, the time will be different in different places in the world.

publication year
2010 to 2019

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Working Internationally

The first two pages could be used to provide an activity where children use their knowledge oof time zones and apply this to the real world. They record the time in different time zones on the provided worksheet. They then consider some of the consequences of one time zone stretching across a considerable geographic space (Paris to Warsaw or the single state of China) or having different time zones within one country (the US uses five different time zones). This resource has been created for lower secondary, but could be adapted for use with older primary learners, or used to extend thinking and learning about time zones.

publication year
2000 - 2009

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The World's Biggest Shadow

This resource investigates sunlight and shadows in a space context. It starts from basic ideas about light and progresses through to discussion of lunar eclipses.

publication year
2010 to 2019

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Earth and space: space presenters

A collection of lesson plans and practical activities based around the Sun, Moon and Earth. They explore why we have  day and night, the four seasons and the Moon’s phases. The Sun and planets making up our Solar System are also investigated.

publication year
2010 to 2019

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This animation features Paxi, the European Space Agency mascot, flying through the solar system. The animation looks at day and night, the orbit of the Moon around the Earth, and the Earth around the Sun. Paxi flies through space from the Sun, passed the eight planets, explaining a little about the planets on the way. His journey takes him towards the edge of the solar system where he meets comets.

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