June 15 is Fly-A-Kite Day

Fly-a-Kite Day

Many people at FNU are passionate about science and math. In the current years, the buzzword in the field of education is STEM. Furthermore, the art and design have become increasingly important, and as people realized the intricate interplay between the arts and the sciences, the “A” for art had been added to create the word STEAM.

All the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and math are connected to one another. For instant, to design a structure involves elements of art and engineering. Making a robot involves knowledge of technology, engineering, and science.

There is a fascinated story about how Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity on June 15, 1752. Thanks to Mr. Benjamin Franklin, it is also the Fly-a-Kite Day! There are no any borders for learning!

As historic data says, Benjamin Franklin first began conducting experiments with electricity for almost a decade. Thankfully, Franklin documented his work and ideas in letters to Peter Collinson, a friend and fellow scientist in London. That is why researchers today know that 1749 was a big year. This was the year when Franklin first documented that he discovered similarities between electricity and lightning and other things such as the color of the light, the crooked direction, the crackling noise, and other things. He suspected that lightning was electrical in nature, and he wanted to prove it.

So, what was he waited for? Franklin knew he could prove his theory that the lightning may pass through metal. His first idea was to wait for the tower construction work on top of the Church of Christ to be completed. It was a good idea, but his impatience got the best of him. Therefore, he decided to try out a spontaneous version: a kite and a key. It was a smart thinking, too. He knew that the kite could get close to storm clouds, and he knew that a metal key would attract the charge. When the lightning struck, it would travel down the string and charge the key. Therefore, when Franklin touched the key and received an electrical shock, he knew he had proved his theory.

Most people still questioning whether it actually happened. The only witness to this experiment, apparently, was Franklin’s son William. Then there is one more fact, in 1752, Franklin wrote an article in the Pennsylvania Gazette that described a theoretical, key word there being theoretical, kite-flying experiment.  In addition, Franklin was credited to the actual experiment in Joseph Priestley’s History and Present Status of Electricity in 1767.

Even if the experiment was not actually carried out, Franklin’s discovery — no matter how it came about — led to his invention of the lightning rod, which protects people, buildings, and ships to this day. He is also credited with terminology related to electricity that we still use today such as electrician and electricity, conductor, condenser, charge, discharge, uncharged, negative, minus, plus, electric shock, and battery.

Now people know that June 15 is a Fly-a-Kite Day and people on this day celebrate and appreciate Benjamin Franklin and his passion for science. The point of the story is that learning to question, design, build, create, measure, and think critically will set young generation for astounding success in whatever educational and career fields he or she chooses to pursue. Plus, STEAM experiments and the technical lab work both are fun!

Ida Tomshinsky, MLS

FNU Library Director


305-821-3333, ext. 1161


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