The Franklin Institute has launched an expansive new digital museum platform—Franklin@Home—designed to keep audiences connected during this time. The museum has tapped into the expertise of all staff and leveraged key partnerships to deliver engaging digital experiences for all ages, with content that promises to be consistent, relevant, impactful, and evolving daily over the weeks ahead.
The Franklin Institute’s swarm of efforts in response to the current public health crisis include a 3D Printing for Health Care initiative, expert scientist COVID-19 analysis, participation in the #PhillyShinesBright citywide campaign, and the development of Franklin@Home—a digital suite of engaging science experiences and offerings to connect with and unite the community as it continues to fulfill its mission during its closure.
- COVID-19 Q&A Chief Bioscientist Jayatri Das explains the latest and takes questions in a weekly Facebook Live event, Mondays at 3 p.m.
- #FranklinOutside Environmental Scientist Rachel Valletta leads an ongoing nature scavenger hunt, enlists fan photos of specific finds in nature, and hosts a weekly Facebook Live event Wednesdays at 3 p.m to highlight experiences and moments related to the hunt, including most recently how to remove spotted lanternfly eggs.
- NightSkies@Home Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts hosts a weekly guided tour of the night sky from home, Thursday evenings at 7:45 pm on Facebook Live.
- Science Happy Hour @ The Search Bar Staff scientists raise a glass to science, moderated and guided by our resident staff bartender. All invited Fridays at 5:30 pm on Instagram Live.
- Science Blogs on current news from expert staff scientists.
- Science Recipes A growing library of at-home science activities using common household items.
- Virtual museum tours, including one of the Giant Heart.
- Science+Stories Live on Zoom, staff educators lead a science activity and book reading ideal for younger audiences ages 3-10. Exclusive to Franklin Institute Members, Wednesdays at 11 a.m.
- Caption This! An interactive challenge to caption some of the best photos of their Curatorial Collections.
- #SparkofScience@home Expanding on the existing popular science video series with new digestible videos created by educators from home on topics including hand washing, bike gears, and buoyancy.
- Coming soon! #myhomemuseum challenge A lighthearted challenge for fans and collectors—both avid and casual, young and old— to open the doors to their personal treasured collection, whatever that may be.
The Franklin Institute has also launched a 3D Printing for Health Care initiative that will produce face shield visor bands to be deployed locally to hospitals and health care workers as part of a citywide effort in collaboration with CoverAid PHL. The Institute currently has all 6 of its 3D printers running from the homes of trained staff. Senior Vice President of Science and Education Dr. Darryl Williams, also an engineer, explains more about Additive Manufacturing in a Time of Necessity in his current blog post.
The Franklin Institute is temporarily closed until further notice in compliance with city and government orders to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. While the building is closed to the public, the museum continues to advance its mission “to inspire a passion for learning about science and technology.” Through the use of digital channels, the Franklin Institute can continue to offer a valuable science learning experience, which may be especially helpful to families and all who are self-isolating at this time.
As a non-profit organization, the Franklin Institute relies on ticket sales, memberships, event sales, and donations to operate. The closure will have a significant financial impact, and The Franklin Institute is encouraging its supporters to consider donating at this time. To view the Franklin@Home offerings, visit the museum’s website and social media.