Download Ben Franklin's Big Shock (On My Own Science) by Judith Jango-Cohen PDF

By Judith Jango-Cohen

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He discovered that it could pull him across a pond. Now Ben would need a kite to conduct another experiment. With two thin strips of cedarwood, Ben made a cross. He tied a silk handkerchief to the cross. A silk kite would bear the rain and wind better than paper. To the top of the kite, Ben added a sharp pointed wire. Ben tied a line of twine to the kite. He attached a metal key, a conductor. He knotted a silk ribbon below the key. Silk is a nonconductor. Holding the silk ribbon would keep the electricity from reaching Ben.

34 Ben and William watched as a cloud passed over the kite. Ben touched his knuckle to the key. It was cold and dead. William touched it too. Nothing! They waited in the shed, staring at the sky. 36 Ben was about to reel in his kite. Then he noticed that loose threads in the twine were standing on end. It reminded Ben of his electrified hair. Ben moved his knuckle toward the key. ZZZZAP! Charges f lew to his finger. Ben received only a small shock from the key. But a big shock of excitement surged through him.

30 Then one summer day in 1752, smoky clouds choked the sun. Pelting winds bent tree limbs. Birds hid in the bushes. Mothers called their children inside. Ben grabbed his kite and called to William, his twenty-one-year-old son. The two raced through the rain. People dashing home must have wondered what Ben Franklin was up to. Ben and William arrived at a big field. Ben was glad that no one was around. He did not want an audience. If lightning was not electricity, people would laugh at him and his experiment.

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