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Benjamin Franklin: STEM Activity Toolkit

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Overview:
Ken Burns’s four-hour documentary, Benjamin Franklin, explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century’s most consequential figures. This STEM Activity Toolkit frames the context of the film series, and provides guidance for viewers to engage in discussions and activities around science, technology, engineering, and math.

Author/Source:
PBS and WETA

Grade:
6-8

Discipline:
Physical Sciences, Earth science

Time:
1-6 hours

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • Science is ongoing; answering one scientific question frequently leads to additional questions to be investigated. (P1)

  • The real process of science is complex, iterative, and can take many different paths.

  • The process of science involves observation, exploration, testing, communication, and application.

  • Scientists can test ideas about events and processes long past, very distant, and not directly observable.

  • Science contributes to many different sorts of new technologies.

Teacher background:

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