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.
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.
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.
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