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Water Towers

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. 

Waverly, Iowa

Driving Question

  • What purpose do water towers serve for a community?

Probing Questions

  • 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? 

Classroom Suggestions

Students could:

  • 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

Iowa Core Alignment


Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another

Credit Info

Phenomena submitted by Cora Saunders and Taylor Runchey

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