Benjamin Franklin House
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Benjamin Franklin House offers a diverse range of learning activities for school groups and families. A visit to Benjamin Franklin House satisfies scientific curiosity and enhances historical knowledge.

Based on the London work and life of one of the main figures of the Enlightenment - Benjamin Franklin - our unique educational centre offerings include a tailored Historical Experience and a Student Science Centre with hands-on activities that are simple, structured and stimulating to capture children’s imagination, enabling them to be involved in the process of investigation.

Benjamin Franklin House educational activities provide pupils with the opportunity to achieve learning objectives from the new National Curriculum in History, Science, English, Design & Technology, Mathematics, Citizenship, and Personal, Social, Health & Economic education (PSHE). An overview of these curricular links can be found here.

Our main purpose is to encourage pupils to observe, think, and draw their own conclusions, simultaneously offering new perspectives on daily life in 18th century London.

Historical Experience

Children experience the excitement of Franklin's years in London in the company of Polly Hewson, daughter of Ben's landlady who became like a daughter to him. The historic rooms become a stage for a live performance drama removing the traditional abstraction between museum and child. They experience Franklin's public health efforts, scientific interests, and diplomatic role, while exploring the Grade I building - with the secrets it tells about 18th century life in London during a momentous period in British and American history.

Student Science Centre

The Student Science Centre encompasses the Medical History Room, the Discovery Room and the Demonstration Room.

Medical History Room

The Medical History Room emphasis is on the medical research work of William Hewson, Polly's husband, who operated an anatomy school at 36 Craven Street. The Medical History Room exposes young minds to scientific enquiry and life processes.

Discovery Room

In the Discovery Room, children are challenged to identify various objects or artefacts (originals, facsimiles, and present day items), to explain their function, to test their guesses and to suggest how they are used or work. Items are set in both a historical and scientific context.

Demonstration Room

The Demonstration Room features task-led, hands-on experiments that supplement the other learning activities and refer to Franklin's scientific activities at the House. Dramatic, interest-catching audio-visual segments will support the presentations, extending the lesson and enabling children to explore 'what if' questions such as 'what happens if lightning strikes a building with no lightning conductor?'

 

 

 

 

 
 
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What teachers and students say!

‘I really enjoyed watching the thing of the storm and the electricity - how it doesn't go onto the building’ – Capucine, age 7, from L’Ecole de Battersea, 19 May

‘I had a visit and what I enjoyed really the most was learning the body parts, how they were named and what they are used for’ – Joules, age 7, from L’Ecole de Battersea, 19 May

‘I loved Polly because she is nice and she tells a lot of stuff about when they were in the room and where there was the card room’ – Mia, age 7, from L’Ecole de Battersea, 19 May

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