Space Systems: Light and Shadows
iBlock Objective:

The Earth-Sun-Moon system impacts our tides, seasons, and perceptions of time. In ancient times, engineers created some of the very first tools to measure time, including the sundial. In this iBlock, students will be challenged to design their own device to track time. Using CAD software, they will first design, and then 3D print, their device.

  • Grade Band: 3-5
  • Primary Focus: Astronomy, 3D Printing
  • Secondary Focus: Engineering
  • Additional Foci: Advanced Literacy, Transferable Skills, Social-Emotional Learning
  • Possible Suggested Technologies: 3D printer, Labdisc
  • Related Industry Sectors: Scientific Research & Engineering


An iBlock matches skills to standards (like Common Core or NGSS).

Here is a sample content standard for this iBlock:

Represent data in graphical displays to reveal patterns of daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the seasonal appearance of some stars in the night sky. (5-ESS1-2)