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Why Do We Have Dams? DLESE Reviewed Collection
This activity examines many of the reasons why it is important to construct large dams, specifically, the three major dams across the Gunnison River leading into Black Canyon (Colorado). The importance of the dams for irrigation, electrical supply and recreation throughout history is explored. Students will learn about the different types of dam constructions, with pros and cons for each. There is also a component that allows the user to conduct a simulation of dam strength by changing load and stress characteristics on a virtual dam. Finally, students learn about dams near their school and home and of their environmental impact, as well as considering the importance of dam construction to human beings.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Case study
    • Lesson plan
  • Hydrology
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
2003 , Satellite Educational Resources Consortium; all rights reserved.
DLESE Catalog ID: DWEL-000-000-000-349
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Understanding about scientific inquiry
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about sci. / tech.
    • 9-12:
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Environment and society:
      • How human actions modify the physical env.
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Satellite Educational Resources Consortium