Monumental Secrets: Sundial On Campus Fuses STEM and Welding

By Anthony Bubb – Reporter

A reason to love Clark: We have a giant sundial.

With students rushing from class to class with their thoughts on assignments and deadlines, it’s easy to overlook the sundial standing 12 feet tall between the Science building and Anna Pechanec Hall.

Facilities director Tim Petta said welding students crafted the monument in 1983 to celebrate Clark’s 50th anniversary.

Petta said physics students helped finetune the measurements and calibrations of the aluminium gnomon, the piece that casts the shadow. He said due to the gnomon being too thin to account for the ellipses in the Earth’s rotation, the sundial was originally anywhere from 16 minutes fast to 16 minutes slow.

Petta said on the sundial’s 25th birthday in 2009, physics instructor Dick Shamrell recalibrated a new, bowling pin-shaped gnomon that properly calculates the deviation of the sun in the sky when viewed from a fixed location.

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The Indy is publishing an online series called “Reasons to Love Clark.” These short stories highlight lesser-known facts and faces that shape the campus community.

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