Our award winning education days take place on Tuesdays in the House’s Student Science Centre. Visits support the National Curriculum in history, science, English, design and technology, mathematics and citizenship; an overview can be found here.
Based on the life and work of Benjamin Franklin, we provide hands-on activities that capture children’s imaginations. On a visit to the House children will:
- See the Children’s Historical Experience, an interactive walk through the historic rooms of the House accompanied by Polly, the daughter of Franklin’s landlady enriched through our vibrant Franklin Illuminations projected onto the walls
- Visit the Medical History Room with its emphasis on the pioneering science of Dr. William Hewson, Polly’s husband, who ran an anatomy school at 36 Craven Street
- Be challenged to identify various Craven Street-related objects in the Discovery Room with fun computer games
- Observe a live science demonstration. Choose from:
- The True Nature of Lightning (Electricity) – Using our Wimshurst Machine and Van Der Graaf Generator, we conduct some hair raising experiments with static electricity before recreating Franklin’s most famous experiment – flying a kite into a thunderstorm. Students will have their classroom learning supported by our Tesla Coil demonstration which highlights the dramatic power of lighting.
- Inventing the Armonica (Sound) – At 36 Craven Street, Benjamin Franklin invented the Glass Armonica – an instrument that innovated playing wine glasses. Pupils will learn about where sound comes from, how it is made and how it can travel. The class will then each get an opportunity to play our replica Glass Armonica and explain why various notes can be produced.
- Investigating Canals (Forces) – Pupils will learn about Benjamin Franklin’s visits to Europe, where he carried out various experiments involving water resistance and canals. We shall recreate his experiments with canal depths to determine the forces at play that allow boats to move faster or slow in water.
Roles and Responsibilities
During your visit to Benjamin Franklin House, your trip will be led by our team of staff and volunteers. Our Education Manager will deliver some hair-raising experiments in our Student Science Centre, whilst our in-House actress will take the class around the historic rooms of 36 Craven Street playing the role of Polly Hewson, daughter of Margaret Stevenson the landlady in Franklin’s Time.
Our staff have all received up-to-date safeguarding training and will be on hand throughout the visit to manage your experience. To ensure the smooth running of our 90-minute trips, we expect collaboration between Benjamin Franklin House staff and visiting teachers in managing behaviour during the sessions. We understand that trips are exciting experiences for all pupils, but our top priority is making sure that all pupils are able to engage with our workshops and enjoy the learning opportunities at the House. We kindly ask that teachers remind their classes of behaviour expectations prior to visiting the House.