Hello, I am in the teacher education program at UCSB. I am working toward becoming a science teacher. I am constructing a lesson that I will give to secondary school students. I would like to ask your advice/feeling toward creating a lesson based around the achievements of Ben Franklin. Ideally the lesson needs to be about a scientist who differs from the traditional representation of scientists. Do you think Ben fits the traditional model, or do you believe the achievements he made sets him apart form the stereotype of a scientist who is a white male, and is detached from society. Your prompt response would greatly be appreciated, along with any suggestions you may have toward designing my lesson.
I don't know what you want in the way of lesson design. If you're doing something with electricity, my personal favorite electricity guy is Nikola Tesla, a Serbian immigrant who was a competitor of Thomas Edison in the early 1900's, and was a quintessential unconventional scientist. Just type his name into google and you'll find all kinds of stuff... it depends on what you want to accomplish in this lesson...
Here is a url for a book about Ben Franklin, that I got in the American Scientist weekly newsletter: http://www.americanscientist.org/BookReviewTypeDetail/assetid/29778