Key Stage: 3 and 4
Length: 1-2 hours (adaptable)
Maximum number: See Planning a visit
This session introduces students to the early ideas about electricity and experiments in the 18th-century when electricity was still considered a magical phenomenon. These include theories about electrostatic charge and the nature of lightning.
The session begins with an object trail to encourage students to think about the different types of objects and their uses. This is followed by demonstrations of early electrostatic experiments including popular experiments that were done in the eighteenth century for entertainment. Students will hear the story of Benjamin Franklin, his discovery of the electrical nature of lightning and invention of the lightning conductor.
Students will gain insight into the development of new scientific concepts from a historical perspective and offers insights into how science works.
This session can be linked with a session at the University Museum of Natural History.