Everday Marvels

Why do we set the clocks back and forth?


Spring ahead, fall back! The practice of changing the time on our clocks is referred to as daylight saving time.

Daylight saving time is not practiced by everyone all over the world; people in certain places change their clocks while other people do not. Even within the United States, which mostly observes daylight savings, there are certain states and territories that do not! However, everyone in the same area either does or does not move their clocks it's not like you would chose to change your clocks and your neighbor would not.

The original idea behind daylight saving time was to help save energy. There is more sunlight in summer, so by changing our clocks to "spring forward" in summertime, we can have more hours of daylight in the evening and people can use fewer electric lights in their homes and businesses, which is good for the environment.

Even though we've been practicing daylight saving time for many years, there is mixed evidence that switching the clocks actually helps people to save energy, and many people (especially farmers) dislike the way it interferes with their schedule. However, lots of people also appreciate having more hours of light in summer evenings!

(by Mya Kagan, Whyzz writer)


Shed some light on it!

By moving the time on our clocks back and forth, it gives us light at different times of day than we'd otherwise have. Can you think of some things that people would rather do when it's light outside than when it's dark?One example might be playing sports! Another example might be gardening. If it's still light outside when your whole family is home in the evening, you can go outside and work together in the yard!What other things can you think of?


Aldrich, Bob. Saving Time, Saving Energy Daylight Saving Time: Its History and Why We Use It. The California Energy Commission.Vernon, Jennifer. The History of Daylight Saving TimeExtra!: Daylight-Saving Time. Education with Student News.