Guides and Materials About Mr. Franklin
An Introduction
Ben Across the Curriculum
Essay Contest
Essay Contest


Original Invitation Posted on this Website and in The Philadelphia Inquirer

The National Constitution Center, the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary and the News In Education program of The Philadelphia Inquirer are sponsoring a student essay contest to find out your answer.

Inventive, ambitious and driven by great intellectual curiosity and a civic-minded soul, Franklin was one of the most extraordinary and influential Americans of his time—and ours. He was a scientist, an inventor, a diplomat, a humorist, a philanthropist and a business man.

He is also the first of the nation’s founding fathers to turn 300, and on this landmark anniversary, we’d like to hear who you think carries on Benjamin Franklin’s efforts to make the world a better place in the 21st century. It can be someone you know—a family member, friend or teacher, or someone you know of —such as a musician, community or state leader, or humanitarian.

Send us a 300-word typed essay describing your modern-day Benjamin Franklin, and their connection to Franklin’s own character, achievements, and legacy.

The authors of top essays will be awarded the following prizes*:
• 1st place: trophy and a class trip to the exhibition
• 2nd place: trophy and family package (four tickets) to the exhibition
• 3rd place: trophy and family package (four tickets) to the exhibition

* In lieu of a visit to the exhibition, winning students living outside the Philadelphia area will receive a copy of Franklin's Autobiography for each student in the class and a copy of the companion book to the exhibition, Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.

Winning essays will be selected by The Philadelphia Inquirer and a panel of judges from the National Constitution Center and the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary.

Deadline for entries is February 1, 2006. Mail entries to:
Modern Ben Franklin
c/o News In Education program
The Philadelphia Inquirer
P.O. Box 8263
Philadelphia, PA 19101

All entries must be typed or word-processed; no hand-written essays will be accepted. All essays must include Writer’s Name, Age, Name of a Parent/Guardian, Mailing Address, Contact Phone Number, email address (optional), School and Teacher.