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Cape Verdean student in Brazil produces solar clock 15 Setembro 2015

18-year-old Cape Verdean civil engineering student João Henrique Ribeiro and his Angolan colleague, 23-year-old Osvaldo Francisco Dias, who studies architecture and urbanism, have produced a “solar clock” that tells the time of day and the date by following the position of the sun. The solar clock, which is ten meters in diameter, is the first to be built in the Brazilian state of Piauí, and is one of the largest in Brazil. Ribeiro and Dias are students at the Federal University of Piauí (UFPI).

Cape Verdean student in Brazil produces solar clock

Built following two days of calculations and another two days spent designing the structure in the parking lot of the university’s Technology Center, the project was born in the classroom, was put into practice and became one of the largest solar clocks in Brazil, according to professor Jean Prost, the coordinator of UFPI’s engineering school.

“I used the theory I learned in the classroom and put it into practice. In the classroom, I had a hard time understanding the functioning of the clock and how I could use it in my profession. Much easier than learning theory, though, is putting it into practice outside the classroom,” said Ribeiro, who has been in Piauí state capital Teresina for six months.

Professor Prost explains that the project was dreamed up to lend dynamics to the knowledge acquired in the classroom. According to the faculty member, the solar clock, which is ten meters in diameter, is the first to be built in Piauí and is one of the largest in the country, coming second only to a structure in the state of Tocantins, which is 50 meters wide.

“The clock’s hand is the shadow cast by the sunlight on the wooden pole placed in the middle of the clock. During the sun’s natural rotation, the solar rays hit the pole, and their movement marks the exact month, day and time on the clock drawn on the ground, without the need for gears or batteries. It’s a natural clock,” he explains.

The professor highlights the fact that the learning acquired with the construction of the solar clock takes into account concerns in the proper training of architecture and civil engineering professionals. The idea, according to Prost, is take advantage of the sun’s movement to develop projects in Teresina, especially in buildings, to provide greater comfort and a more amenable temperature for those living in condominiums.

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