Michael Faraday Lesson for Kids: Biography & Facts

Instructor: Sarah Meers

Sarah has taught elementary education for 10 years and has a master's degree in Education Leadership.

Michael Faraday was a famous scientist in London in the 1800's. In this lesson, you will learn how Michael Faraday went from a poor boy to an amazing scientist that would help create inventions that shape our lives today.

Young Michael Faraday

''But still try, for who knows what is possible.'' This quote by Michael Faraday summarized his philosophy in work and in life. Imagine how much you could accomplish if you were never afraid to try! Instead of being scared of messing up, you can use your mess-ups for learning, just like this famous scientist.

Michael Faraday was born September 22, 1791 in London, England. At this time, only rich people were able to study science and Faraday was born into a poor family. Faraday's father was often very sick, so Michael had to quit school when he was barely a teenager and begin working to help support his family.

Faraday began working as a book delivery boy when he was just 13 years old. Because of his hard work, he was promoted to apprentice book binder and learned how to sew books together by hand. This work with books gave Michael the chance to change his life by learning more about his true passion, science.

A Passion for Science

While working at the bookshop, Faraday read everything he could get his hands on in the area of science. He was so amazed by science that he began following the most popular scientists. This was not like following someone now by reading their social media accounts but literally following them to halls to watch them give speeches about what they were studying. Back then, scientists were like rock stars! The most popular scientist at the time was Humphry Davy.

Imagine how excited Faraday was when a customer at the bookstore gave him tickets to attend one of Davy's speeches. Faraday took notes during this speech and used his book binding skills to make a book as a gift for Davy. Mr. Davy was so impressed by this gift that he asked him to be his lab assistant.

Michael Faraday

A Scientist is Born

While working for Humphry Davy, Faraday observed many scientific experiments. While watching an experiment using magnets and electricity Faraday noticed that the magnet moved in a circle around a metal rod when electricity was going through the metal.

Sketch of Faradays magnetic rotation experiment

The discovery of how electricity and magnets worked together led to many very important scientific discoveries and inventions including the electric motor, dynamos, and the electric generator. A dynamo is a machine that produces a direct current of electricity. Many machines used in our everyday lives use this type of technology to get power.

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