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Hoover Dam and Hydroelectric Power

WGBH Educational Foundation, Teachers' Domain

This video segment is adapted from Building Big, a PBS series hosted by David Macaulay. It explores Hoover Dam's hydroelectric capabilities by explaining how it is able to harness the potential energy stored in the reservoir and convert it to electricity. It also discusses environmental impacts of the dam and others like it.

Video length: 3:44 minutes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • This video could be used in a physical science or environmental science course.

About the Content

  • A short video that describes how electricity is generated in a hydroelectric plant (Hoover Dam). It also describes the pros and cons of this type of power production on regional water supply and river ecosystems.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Explains how electricity is generated from dams, but does not explain climate change's impact on the ability to generate hydro power. Also, it is somewhat out-of-date.

About the Pedagogy

  • Background essay, discussion questions, and a link to standards are provided.
  • Demonstrates the importance of hydroelectricity as the dominant source of electricity for urban areas in the American Southwest.
  • Good graphics describe how electricity is made.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Cannot be downloaded but can be viewed in full screen mode and with closed captioned text.
  • Full screen image is not high quality.
Entered the Collection: June 2015 Last Reviewed: June 2015

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