The wonder that is The Corpus Clock

The Corpus Chronophage is an amazing thing, It shows time passing is such a unique and non-digital way. The more simple mechanics are explained and the sense of recreating history also comes through…. And how about the grasshopper/beastie that performs, especially when the hour is struck!

If I was looking at time passing, in a classroom setting, this is a video I would use. What a way to start the students thinking about the question of time. What is time? How would they represent the passing of the seconds and minutes? How old is old and what is new? In fact what is history?  How would they measure time passing? What sort of clock could they design to show time passing? I love to engage students. Time is such an interesting concept. I know many students in my secondary school who, given a little encouragement, love to discuss these sort of concepts. Others love the idea of creating some mechanical thing. Th Corpus Clock is just the thing to spark the imagination.

The Corpus Clock was invented and designed by Dr John Taylor for Corpus Christi College Cambridge for the exterior of the college’s new library building.

It was unveiled on 19 September 2008 by Prof Stephen Hawking, cosmologist and author of the global bestseller, A Brief History of Time.

The £1 million timepiece, known as The Corpus Clock, was commissioned and designed to honour the John Harrison, who was famously the pioneer of Longitude and inventor of the esoteric clock mechanism known as a grasshopper escapement.

The clock was designed by the inventor and horologist Dr John Taylor and makes ingenious use of the grasshopper escapement, moving it from the inside of the clock to the outside and refashioning it as a Chronophage, or time-eater, which literally devours time.

I taught a student who did not know his birth date, and by that I mean the year as well as the day and month. He had come from a war-zone and was now at school in our Australian country town because someone had tracked down a sister. His age was  only guessed at. So many people in our society are obsessed  with age. The right age for… To old for…To young to…. So much in our education system focuses on age groups. We talk about year levels, age rather than maturity or readiness. Someones age in years can be used to box them into a way of doing things or living. The student, in my group at that country school, was the impetus for a few very interesting conversations about the topic of age and the passing of time. Not is a confronting way but about why we measure the passing of time the way we do.

One Response

  1. […] wonder that is The Corpus Clock Collected by BiblioKat 00 mins ago from // Event.onDOMReady(function() { // sizeText($(‘video_title’), 475); // }) collect this […]

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