Franklin Institute Science Museum
The Franklin Institute celebrates is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In the spirit of inquiry and discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the mission of the Institute is to foster the development of a scientifically and technologically literate society.
On February 5, 1824, thirty founding members met at the county courthouse in Philadelphia and adopted the constitution of The Franklin Institute of the State of Pennsylvania for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts. The purpose of the organization was twofold: to educate and foster science and technology literacy among a new generation of mechanics, and to support and promote local manufacturers. More than a century later, on January 1, 1934, The Franklin Institute opened its Science Museum. Touted as the Wonderland of Science, the new museum advocated a hands-on approach to learning and demonstrated the Institute’s continued interest in popular education.
The Franklin Institute Web site remains true to the Institute’s original mission, giving an in-depth look at the scientific legacy of Benjamin Franklin. Students and teachers may explore all of the inventions of the insatiably curious Franklin.
Flights of Inspiration is a wonderful section of the Web site devoted to Wilbur and Orville Wright, always a favorite of North Carolina teachers. The history of the brothers’ lives and inventions is presented, as well as a teacher zone with lesson plans, and a “design your own airplane” section. Be sure to check out the History of Science and Technology, which each month highlights one object long gone from the public memory and the history attached to that object. Other exhibits explore the heart, which beats more than two and a half billion times in a lifetime without ever pausing to rest; the constantly expanding universe; and the oceans that cover most of the earth and bring changes to all of the land around it.