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past Events 2007

 


Benjamin Franklin House Christmas Event

Kids christmas event

Ben's old home was filled with joy during the 2007 Family Holiday Day in December.  With their parents, young people listened to tales of Christmas in the 18th century, made festive decorations, and enjoyed seasonal treats!


Benjamin Franklin House Symposium

We were honoured to have Sir Harry Kroto, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, feature in this year’s Benjamin Franklin House Symposium, held in association with the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, on 7 August.

Sir Harry was knighted in 1996 for his contributions to chemistry – with colleagues he discovered C60 Buckminsterfullerene, a new form of carbon.  Franklin would have liked the association with such a kindred spirit.  As he has noted, “I have ended up a supporter of ideologies which advocate the right of the individual to speak, think and write in freedom and safety (surely the bedrock of a civilised society).” 

He took as his theme Science, Society and Sustainability: what science is, how people, the media, politicians and others perceive science and scientists and some of the problems non-scientists have in understanding science, engineering and technology.

He began by sharing how he fell in love with science when he discovered the essence of the discipline is the "quest for beautiful patterns."  He highlighted areas he sees as essential for future research including highly sustainable technologies like solar electricity and genetic developments like seedlings that can fix their own nitrogen.  In response to a question on whether nanotechnology bodes good or ill for society, he argued that science is never intrinsically bad, "it's the use that men put to it."

He is passionate about furthering scientific understanding and established The Vega Scientific Trust and Global Educational Outreach (GEO) to allow young researchers to explain their science to young people around the world through the Internet.  Says Sir Harry, “we are pioneering new ways of using the Internet to get the next generation of children to work together to address some of humanity’s most pressing problems. After all if the future is in anyone’s hands it’s in theirs.”

2007 Benjamin Franklin House Symposium

Harry Kroto

We were honoured to have Sir Harry Kroto, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, feature in this year’s Benjamin Franklin House Symposium, held in association with the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library, on 7 August.

Sir Harry was knighted in 1996 for his contributions to chemistry – with colleagues he discovered C60 Buckminsterfullerene, a new form of carbon.  Franklin would have liked the association with such a kindred spirit.  As he has noted, “I have ended up a supporter of ideologies which advocate the right of the individual to speak, think and write in freedom and safety (surely the bedrock of a civilised society).” 

He took as his theme Science, Society and Sustainability: what science is, how people, the media, politicians and others perceive science and scientists and some of the problems non-scientists have in understanding science, engineering and technology.
Harry Kroto lecturing at the British Library
He began by sharing how he fell in love with science when he discovered the essence of the discipline is the "quest for beautiful patterns."  He highlighted areas he sees as essential for future research including highly sustainable technologies like solar electricity and genetic developments like seedlings that can fix their own nitrogen.  In response to a question on whether nanotechnology bodes good or ill for society, he argued that science is never intrinsically bad, "it's the use that men put to it."

He is passionate about furthering scientific understanding and established The Vega Scientific Trust and Global Educational Outreach (GEO) to allow young researchers to explain their science to young people around the world through the Internet.  Says Sir Harry, “we are pioneering new ways of using the Internet to get the next generation of children to work together to address some of humanity’s most pressing problems. After all if the future is in anyone’s hands it’s in theirs.”


 

4th of July at Benjamin Franklin House

Cakes in Franklin's Parlour

Benjamin Franklin House opened its doors for a special celebration on the 4th of July 2007, when we welcomed friends to the House for some Independence Day cake and bubbly.


2007 Benjamin Franklin House Science Day

On 27 April, Benjamin Franklin House held its annual Science Day at the Royal Society featuring three inner city London schools: Streatham and Clapham School, Cayley Primary School, and Kobi Nazrul Primary School. The Royal Society, a premier UK scientific academy where Benjamin Franklin was an early member, is housed in a historic building with state of the art facilities (much like Benjamin Franklin house located nearby) which delighted the young participants. They were inspired by the original portraits of famous scientists like Isaac Newton!

More than 120 pupils took part in the fun and informative sessions which highlighted some of Franklin’s most important investigations. Franklin had a deep interest in the practical application of scientific knowledge and our special guest, scientist Dr Bryson Gore, captured the children’s attention with experiments that popped, illuminated, and crackled, showing how the great man’s 18th century explorations have led to some of today’s most important technologies. As Benjamin Franklin House Education Manager, Ana Doria Buchan notes, “Franklin liked to ask questions and in his search for potential answers, he broke new ground. This spirit of enquiry, an approach central to the UK National Curriculum, enthused both the children and their teachers alike!”

Volunteers helped make the 2007 Benjamin Franklin House Science Day a success and plans are underway for the Benjamin Franklin Science Fair with local schools in June.


2007 Benjamin Franklin House Science Fair

Students from schools in the London boroughs of Newham, Southwark and Croydon will take part in the annual Benjamin Franklin House Science Fair at the Royal Society of Medicine on 25 June.

The children will be grappling with a timely question – which Franklin posed in the 18th century: How can we get more energy from less fuel? Franklin’s response led him to attempt design of more fuel-efficient stoves. His, and others that came later, are known as Franklin stoves. The children will apply their ingenuity in developing a 21st century response. They will also have the choice of a weather-related question as this subject also fascinated Franklin and played a part in his experiments with lightning and in his invention of the lightning rod.

All participants will be prize winners but the overall winner will be judged by visiting scientists on the day. The Benjamin Franklin House Science Fair satisfies our mission to engage young people in science through hands-on investigations and to conduct outreach from 36 Craven Street to the wider community.


2007 National Archaeology Week

Benjamin Franklin House will be participating in this year’s National Archaeology Week (NAW). The fit is perfect given the House’s architectural significance and archaeological importance (with more than 1000 bones found during basement conservation, remnants of an anatomy school run by the son-in-law of Franklin’s landlady). For nine days in July, children from across the UK will take part in excavations, guided tours, exhibitions, lectures, craft workshops and more.

We will open our doors to NAW participants on Tuesday, 17 July, allowing young visitors to discover more about the history of 36 Craven Street. We will be offering special activities that demonstrate how found objects give clues to the past, while emphasising such skills as research observation/recording/interpretation and team work.

 


Happy 301st Ben! Happy Birthday Benjamin Franklin House!
17 January 2007

Today is the 301st anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birthday and today Benjamin Franklin House has been open to the public for one year!

Click here for the complete story


A Web of Relationships

Michael De Guzman, Benjamin Franklin House's Development Manager and resident artist until early 2007, installed a temporary sculpture comprised of over 20,000 rubber bands in Franklin's Parlour! The complex web alluded to Franklin's entanglement in 18th century diplomatic relations. It is the first in a series of temporary artistic installations to be featured at the House. Watch for future previews.