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Engineer a Dam

Lesson Focus 
Lesson focuses on the different uses of dams and how they are engineered. Students work in teams to develop a system of damming water in a trough. The system must completely hold back the water and also have a way of executing a controlled release.

Age Levels:

8 - 18
Objectives 
  • Learn about dams.
  • Learn about engineering design and redesign.
  • Learn how engineering can help solve society's challenges.
  • Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
Anticipated Learner Outcomes 

As a result of this activity, students should develop an understanding of:

  • dams
  • structural design and engineering
  • engineering design
  • teamwork
Lesson Activities 

Students explore the multiple uses of dams and how they solve problems. They learn about different types of dams, consider material options, build a dam in a classroom water trough, test it, and share their experiences with the class.

Resources/Materials 
  • Teacher Resource Documents (attached)
  • Student Resource Sheet (attached)
  • Student Worksheets (attached)

Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks

Curriculum alignment sheet is included in PDF.


Alignment to Curriculum Frameworks
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