Water towers can be found in almost every town and city in Iowa. Their purpose involves much more than simply storing water. Water towers are built and positioned in such a way to create lots of stored energy and pressure, allowing water to flow powerfully to people and places in the community when released.
- What purpose do water towers serve for a community?
- As you look at the photos, what do you notice about the size and height of the water towers?
- Why do you think the water is stored so high up?
- How do you think water gets in the tower?
- How might water be distributed from the water tower to people?
- What are some ways water towers impact you?
- Why are water towers important to communities?
- In groups, build towers out of classroom materials (such as tubing, plastic cups, etc.) that can store and move water.
- Research water towers from all over the world and compare and contrast to determine which water tower structure might work best.
- Create diagrams to show how energy is stored and transferred through a water tower.
- Perform skits to demonstrate different ways water towers have an impact on our lives.
Relevant Related Resources
- Water Tower Challenge Lesson Plan - IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers): Adaptable lesson plan for ages 8-18. Team-based activity where students must collaborate to build their own water tower using classroom materials and engineering design principles. Provides thorough instructions, necessary background concepts, vocabulary, and a video for teachers to use as a guide.
- For The Love of Water Towers by N. Jensen: A children’s book that includes pictures of both real & imagined water towers.
- Water tower visual diagram: A simple diagram that demonstrates how water towers work.
- How do water towers work?: 4:30 minute video that explains how water towers work with visuals and explanations.
- Why do we have water towers?: Short article providing teacher background knowledge on the purpose of water towers, as well as how they work.
Iowa Core Alignment4-PS3-4:
Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another
Phenomena submitted by Cora Saunders and Taylor Runchey