Worlds of David Darling banner Worlds of David Darling > Children's Encyclopedia of Science > Could You Ever Build a Time Machine? > Hands On


a book in the Could You Ever? series by David Darling

Could You Ever Build a Time Machine book cover Contents
The Challenge
1. About Time
2. It's Yesterday Once More
3. Shortcuts to the Future
4. Black Holes and Time Tunnels
Hands On

Hands On

Launch your own capsule on a journey through time

Containing objects and information about life today, it will travel into the future to be opened by someone perhaps in the late 21st century.

Your time capsule should be an airtight container made of material such as plastic that will not rot or rust. An ice-cream container, for example, would work well.

Choose carefully the items you want to send into the future. Imagine that you had just found a time capsule that had been made many years ago. What kinds of things would you hope to find inside – newspaper clippings, photographs, small toys, wrappings from food cans, and packages? Use these ideas for your own capsule. Include details of your school, friends, important news stories of the year, current world records in sports, results of the last presidential election, family photos with notes on the back, a picture of yourself, and clippings from a mail order catalog. You could also record a cassette tape or DVD of sounds in your everyday life – people talking, traffic and airport noise, TV programs, and popular songs. Next, place inside any small objects that you think might prove interesting to the people of the future.

Pack all the items neatly into the time capsule, ensuring that anything breakable is deep inside and well padded. Press the lid on firmly and, if you wish, seal it with masking tape. Write any instructions, such as "Do not open until the year 2090," on the outside. Finally, "launch" the time capsule by burying it in the ground or hiding it in the attic of your house.