Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston in January, 1706, and died in April, 1790. 20,000 people attended his funeral in Philadelphia, so he was clearly a special individual. During his 84 years he was a printer, a statesman, an inventor, the Postmaster General, and an experimenter in static electricity.

For us in SC526, Ben Franklin is relevant for a number of reasons, including:

Brief descriptions of the web links

Bob Morse, a high-school teacher who had a Wright Fellowship at Tufts earlier this year, has put together a terrific site about Benjamin Franklin, including Franklin's own writings about electricity, and a large collection of experiments using everyday items like aluminum foil, film canisters, and styrofoam cups. These are experiments, and building projects, you could consider doing with your own students.

"The Electric Ben Franklin" is a general site that discusses all sorts of different aspects of Franklin's life, and even has Franklin's autobiography on-line.

In the PBS site look for the "How Shocking" part, which has three interactive components that you could show to your students to learn about static electricity, Franklin's kite experiment, and lightning rods. There are also some other good resources, including a teachers guide, on the PBS site, about Franklin.