Inquiry-based learning: Time

The science of time

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Chronometry is the scientific term for accurate time measurement, and refers to the study of modern electronic time keeping devices.

These include electric clocks, watches, and the most accurate time keeping devices of all – atomic clocks.

Watch & learn

Learn about the importance of precision when it comes to keeping time from watchmakers themselves in the short video above, and then consider the following questions with a friend or in your journal.

What does it mean when something runs "like clockwork"?

What things/activities in the world run like clockwork?

Do you know anyone who runs their schedule like clockwork?

Leaps in time

Learn about the evolution of measuring time by watching this video on ABC Splash, and answer the following questions in your journal:

What is a leap second? Do you know of any other "leap" measurements?

Space & time

Time and its relationship with space and distance is also an interesting topic to explore.

For example, when we measure vast distances in space we often refer to lightyears, and it has been proven that gravity can distort the passing of time.

This means that people at the top of a tall building will age slightly faster than people on the ground. Amazing!

Read the article below to find out more...

ABC News: Time passes faster the higher you are

Measuring time in space

Are you interested in the concept of light years? Then try this 'Time Traveller' activity from the Museum of Victoria.

Use your inspiration...

Imagine that scientists decide to add the leap second to every clock in the world, but one very important computer crashes...

Plan or make

a) a film or animation that explores what happens next


b) a game where you have to fix the computer.


Had you ever considered the science of time before?

In your journal, pick one thing you learned from this module and answer the following questions:

What was it?

What did you think before?

Can you imagine a way you could include it in a film, animation or video game?


You have completed Module 3. Time to take a look at Module 4...

Time and the moving image

More info