It's About Time: Additional Educator Resources

Use these resources to support your teaching of the unit: It's About Time: Engineering Timers

Educator Resources


John Harrison and the Marine Chronometer

Even with timekeeping technologies like pendulum clocks, establishing longitude was still a problem for 16th century seafarers. Have youth look at this interactive gallery to understand the legacy of John Harrison’s marine chronometer and its impact on ocean navigation.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Website

The website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the federal agency in charge of tracking the nation’s official time, provides information on the history of timekeeping devices. See page xiv.



A History of Time

This animated video gives a history of time-telling, from sundials to piezoelectric and digital clocks. (2:00)


What does quartz have to do with keeping time? Have youth watch this TED-Ed video to understand the connection between crystals, mechanical stress, and the generation of piezoelectricity. (4:55)

Objectified clip

This short clip from the documentary Objectified looks at our complex relationship with manufactured objects, the people who design them, and the creative process behind their work. (2:57) See pages 9 and 12.



China Only Has One Time Zone

The way we conceptualize and measure time has a cultural impact. Youth interested in international timekeeping practices can read this article about some of the geographical and political implications of time zones.

Atomic Clocks

How can we be sure our clocks are accurate, and what does the latest timekeeping technology look like? This article on atomic clocks discusses how measuring atomic vibrations could lead to the establishment of a standardized world time.