Activity Overview: Texas has many dams, which create many reservoirs for sources of drinking water and water for irrigation.
Students can work individually or in groups to research one of the many dams in Texas. Students should use a variety of relevant print and digital resources to investigate their assigned dam. The investigation should include a brief history, including reason for construction, current status of the structure, and how the dam changed the surface water in the region.
To expand this activity, students could deliver a short presentation to the class, incorporating visual elements.
Time: 30-45 minutes
Evaluate students’ projects according to the following criteria. Excellent project performance is defined below.
Identify a Dam: Student identifies a dam within or at the border of the state of Texas.
Do Background Research: Student identifies a succinct list of reputable sources that document the background and current status of their selected dam and produces a well composed summary of the sector with few to zero errors in grammar, spelling, or citations.
Create a Visual: Student creates at least one thematic map, graph, chart, model, or reproduces an image of the dam that helps explain at least one point the student is trying to explain in the investigation.
Cite Sources: Students should identify a range of appropriate primary and secondary sources to answer their research question. Sources should be referenced appropriately in their analysis and cited according to a prescribed citation style.
Chapter 12: Hydroelectric Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the physics and history of hydropower. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.
Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.