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Inquiry Question

Historical Context





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"The Greatest Dam in the World": Building Hoover Dam Supplementary Resources

In this lesson, students have learned why and how Hoover Dam was constructed.  Those interested in learning more will find much useful information on the internet.

Hoover Dam Official Website
This website, maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region, includes a wealth of information.  In addition to directions and information about touring the dam, it includes links to “The Story of Hoover Dam,” a series of essays on construction of the dam, a database of hundreds of historic images, and a packet of educational materials.

Project Details for the Boulder Canyon Project - Hoover Dam
This Reclamation website provides basic information on the over-all Boulder Canyon Project, including detailed descriptions of the features at Hoover Dam, its history and construction, and the benefits it provides.

Bureau of Reclamation History
This website includes links to a number of documents, including a short history of Reclamation, a longer, book-length history of the years before 1945, and a study of large Federal dams, including Hoover.

Hoover Dam on Wikipedia
This article on Hoover Dam provides an excellent, detailed discussion of the dam, including background, construction history, operation, and environmental impact.

“Hoover Dam” PBS Film
This PBS production provides materials for teachers, in addition to a history of the dam and some of the people involved in its creation.

The Story of Hoover Dam Film
This website, provided by the National Archives and Records Administration, features a 1981 film that combines three short films dating from earlier periods.  It includes historic footage of Hoover Dam under construction, including the high scalers in action and the concrete being poured into the forms.  It also includes images showing the installation of the last turbine in the power plant and the benefits provided by the dam.

“Desperate Times” The Building of the Hoover Dam
This program, presented by the British Broadcasting Company, features interviews with the men and women who lived in Ragtown and who worked on the dam.

The Boulder City/Hoover Dam Museum
This website features images and other information focusing on the people who built Hoover Dam and who lived in Boulder City.

“Building Big”
This PBS miniseries, hosted by author David Macaulay, describes the engineering challenges encountered in building large dams, bridges, domes, skyscrapers, and tunnels in clear, easily understood, and kid-friendly terms and visuals.  Hoover Dam is one of its “Wonders of the World.”  The website also includes an educators' guide,” with hands-on activities.

What Are Public Works?
This website, maintained by the American Public Works Association, discusses the shifting and slippery definition of what constitutes “public works.”  It also includes a short video, “Unsung Heroes,” that highlights the critical, and often ignored, role that public works plays in our ordinary lives.

The Colorado River on Wikipedia
This article provides information on the whole river, from its source in Grand Canyon National Park to its end in the Gulf of California.  There are sections on the history and geology of the river and on current environmental concerns.


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