Noticing the regular movement of the Sun and the stars has led to a desire to measure time. This article for teachers and learners looks at the history of man's need to measure things.
This month there is a Friday the thirteenth and this year there are three. Can you explain why every year must contain at least one Friday the thirteenth?
Sometime during every hour the minute hand lies directly above the hour hand. At what time between 4 and 5 o'clock does this happen?
Astronomy grew out of problems that the early civilisations had. They needed to solve problems relating to time and distance - both mathematical topics.
Calendars were one of the earliest calculating devices developed by civilizations. Find out about the Mayan calendar in this article.
I found these clocks in the Arts Centre at the University of
Warwick intriguing - do they really need four clocks and what times
would be ambiguous with only two or three of them?
If it takes four men one day to build a wall, how long does it take
60,000 men to build a similar wall?
This article explains how Greenwich Mean Time was established and in fact, why Greenwich in London was chosen as the standard.
Every day at noon a boat leaves Le Havre for New York while another
boat leaves New York for Le Havre. The ocean crossing takes seven
days. How many boats will each boat cross during their journey?
Which segment on a digital clock is lit most each day? Which
segment is lit least? Does it make any difference if it is set to
12 hours or 24 hours?
Use the clocks to investigate French decimal time in this problem.
Can you see how this time system worked?
How far have these students walked by the time the teacher's car
reaches them after their bus broke down?
A bus route has a total duration of 40 minutes. Every 10 minutes,
two buses set out, one from each end. How many buses will one bus
meet on its way from one end to the other end?
Galileo, a famous inventor who lived about 400 years ago, came up
with an idea similar to this for making a time measuring
instrument. Can you turn your pendulum into an accurate minute
Read this article to find out the mathematical method for working out what day of the week each particular date fell on back as far as 1700.
What can you say about when these pictures were taken?
Two trains set off at the same time from each end of a single
straight railway line. A very fast bee starts off in front of the
first train and flies continuously back and forth between the. . . .
Can you create a story that would describe the movement of the man
shown on these graphs? Use the interactivity to try out our ideas.
The pages of my calendar have got mixed up. Can you sort them out?
Alice's mum needs to go to each child's house just once and then
back home again. How many different routes are there? Use the
information to find out how long each road is on the route she
In this matching game, you have to decide how long different events take.
On a digital clock showing 24 hour time, over a whole day, how many
times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12 hour clock
over a whole day?
If Tom wants to learn to cook his favourite supper, he needs to make a schedule so that everything is ready at the same time.
Use the interactivity to move Mr Pearson and his dog. Can you move
him so that the graph shows a curve?
Can you put these times on the clocks in order? You might like to arrange them in a circle.
Great Granddad is very proud of his telegram from the Queen
congratulating him on his hundredth birthday and he has friends who
are even older than he is... When was he born?
Two engines, at opposite ends of a single track railway line, set
off towards one another just as a fly, sitting on the front of one
of the engines, sets off flying along the railway line...
Can you order pictures of the development of a frog from frogspawn
and of a bean seed growing into a plant?
A game for two or more players that uses a knowledge of measuring
tools. Spin the spinner and identify which jobs can be done with
the measuring tool shown.
A train leaves on time. After it has gone 8 miles (at 33mph) the driver looks at his watch and sees that the hour hand is exactly over the minute hand. When did the train leave the station?
Anne completes a circuit around a circular track in 40 seconds.
Brenda runs in the opposite direction and meets Anne every 15
seconds. How long does it take Brenda to run around the track?
On a digital 24 hour clock, at certain times, all the digits are
consecutive. How many times like this are there between midnight
and 7 a.m.?
At the time of writing the hour and minute hands of my clock are at
right angles. How long will it be before they are at right angles
My cousin was 24 years old on Friday April 5th in 1974. On what day
of the week was she born?
Do you know the rhyme about ten green bottles hanging on a wall? If
the first bottle fell at ten past five and the others fell down at
5 minute intervals, what time would the last bottle fall down?
A paradox is a statement that seems to be both untrue and true at the same time. This article looks at a few examples and challenges you to investigate them for yourself.
Stuart's watch loses two minutes every hour. Adam's watch gains one
minute every hour. Use the information to work out what time (the
real time) they arrived at the airport.
What is the date in February 2002 where the 8 digits are
palindromic if the date is written in the British way?
How many times in twelve hours do the hands of a clock form a right
angle? Use the interactivity to check your answers.
Can you put these mixed-up times in order? You could arrange them in a circle.
How many of this company's coaches travelling in the opposite
direction does the 10 am coach from Alphaton pass before reaching
This article for teachers suggests ideas for activities built around 10 and 2010.
Can you rank these sets of quantities in order, from smallest to largest? Can you provide convincing evidence for your rankings?
Here's a chance to work with large numbers...
Chandrika was practising a long distance run. Can you work out how
long the race was from the information?
Mathematics has allowed us now to measure lots of things about eclipses and so calculate exactly when they will happen, where they can be seen from, and what they will look like.
Mr. Sunshine tells the children they will have 2 hours of homework.
After several calculations, Harry says he hasn't got time to do
this homework. Can you see where his reasoning is wrong?
This investigation explores using different shapes as the hands of
the clock. What things occur as the the hands move.
Look at the changes in results on some of the athletics track events at the Olympic Games in 1908 and 1948. Compare the results for 2012.
This article for teachers suggests ways in which dinosaurs can be a
great context for discussing measurement.