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Low-Head Dams

This low-head dam is located in Waverly, Iowa. In the picture you can see how the dam diverts the amount of water flowing down the river.

Waverly, Iowa

Possible Guiding, Compelling and/or Anchoring Questions

  • What are the benefits of having dams in place? 
  • What possible negative effects could dams have on the ecosystems around them?
  • How do dams prevent weather-related hazards like floods?
  • What could be other ways we could prevent weather-related hazards?

Classroom Suggestions

  • Looking into what dams do 
  • Look into the different types of dams
  • Understand the considerations engineers must make when designing a dam.

Related Resources

  • Types of Dams: This article focused on the different parts of dam and how they work.
  • Hydroelectric Power: How it Works: This article talks about how we pull energy from dams like the one in the photo. 
  • Dams 101 for Kids: This is a kid-friendly overview of what dams are, the history of them and fun activities related to dams. 
  • Why Do We Build Dams: This is an article that has a video talking about why we build dams and a summary about why they are necessities. 

Iowa Core Alignment


Make a claim about the merit of a design solution that reduces the impacts of a weather-related hazard.

Credit Info

Submitted by Brooke McCoy

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