Creative Sparks: How Electricity Began

Session details


Museum based

Curriculum Links
Science (electricity)
History (The Enlightenment)

Key Stage 3
Suitable for Year 7

Length of session
70-90 minutes

Maximum group size
30 students


In this session students will:


  • Explore the Museum’s amazing collection
  • Enjoy an exciting display of electrostatic experiments
  • Find out about Benjamin Franklin and the lightning conductor


This session provides an excellent introduction to the Museum and an opportunity for students to explore ideas about electricity through exciting demonstrations of early electrostatic experiments when electricity was still seen as a magical phenomenon.

We begin with a scavenger hunt for the students to find their way around the Museum and think about objects in the collection.

This is followed by a dynamic series of demonstrations supported by Q&A featuring stories and popular electrostatics experiments from the 1700s CE, including Benjamin Franklin’s investigation into the nature of lightning and the invention of the life-saving lightning conductor.

Students will gain insight into new scientific concepts and explore how science works.

This session can be linked with a session at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.