from Neil MacQueen, www.sundaysoftware.com
Don’t forget to investigate the Story of Esther found on our Awesome Bible Stories CD!
Recently I was responding to a teacher who was looking for a “Science Workshop” lesson idea for teaching Esther, and I thought of Mordecai’s key line: “Perhaps you have been put here for just such a TIME as this”. And that led me to thinking of this lesson about time and clocks:
A Science-y Idea… “For Just Such a TIME As This”:
Amazon, among other places, sells a $6 quartz clock kit with hour/minute hands that can be mounted onto a thin piece of plexiglass (or a box) with a clock dial of the kid’s own making/drawing. I would create TWO dials, and inner one with actual Clock Numbers, and an Outer dial with words and symbols that the hands could point to.
The question from the story ringing in our ears could be on the Outer dial face: “What Time Is It?” “Time to pray”, “Time to help”, “Time to stand up for what is right”.
Here’s where the Science & Theology comes in:
The Quartz crystals in clock kit “vibrate” in perfect time (frequency) when an electrical charge (battery) is applied to them. An amplifier “listens” to the pulse or “ringing” coming from the crystal. Those pulses are regular without wavering, and thus they can be counted. Because the scientists know exactly how many oscillations/vibrations per second, the electronics count them and then move the mechanical gears or electronic lights on time.
This principle of ONE thing vibrating another –transferring its timing so to speak, could be demonstrated with a tuning fork, which when struck and placed to a glass goblet sets the goblet vibrating, which because of its shape amplifies the sound. A tuning fork can also literally ring in our ears. This is the same principle in audio speakers and old fashioned record players, –transferring a signal into an electrical impulse which can drive a speaker OR drive a gear on a clock. It could also be demonstrated with a tin horn or megaphone…. same thing, it amplifies the sound. You could label that amplifier “Church” or Holy Spirit.
WE vibrate when God’s Spirit charges us. The church amplifies our common energy to make things happen. I’ll let you flesh that out, but basically, one thing vibrates another. What vibrates your spirit? or moves you to action? HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS? How do you know when it is the RIGHT time to speak up? When the spirit “moves” you? When the words of scripture or a friend moves you to act. Now you see why the clock needs two dials –to represent the two types of TIME we live in.
PS…some might think it’s extravagant to spend $6 per kid on a clock it, but it’s a project that has lasting/reminding quality. If its beyond your budget, just get a few kits and have the kids make a few clocks that can go on display in classrooms and hallways to serve as a reminder.