Live Science Class for Kids: Ben Franklin’s Swim Fins

Swimming fins

Replica swim fins on display at the Benjamin Franklin Museum in Philadelphia, part of Independence National Historical Park

Join our series of weekly virtual classes to learn how Ben Franklin’s inventions and scientific discoveries illuminate the national curriculum! You can recreate all the featured science demonstrations at home using household materials.

Did you know that Ben Franklin was a keen swimmer as a young man? Learn how he used his knowledge of water and air dynamics to create devices to help him swim more quickly. Build on this understanding to create paper boats and race them!

Activity materials: paper, straws, tape, scissors, large plastic container/ bath tub/ paddling pool

Links to the Science Curriculum:

KS2: Forces (Y3, Y5)

KS3: Forces

Most Suitable for KS2 and KS3 (US Grades 2-8) but all ages welcome!

If you have any questions, please contact

Watch the full class and demonstration:

You can download ‘how to make a paper boat’ visual instructions here 

How to make a paper boat