Making of a Dam



What is a dam? It is a wall built to hold back the water of a creek, stream, or river. But that's not all it is. I wanted to find out what a dam did and how it worked. I did my project on it for that simple reason. I did a project showing how a dam worked. The following information is what I found out about dams.


Purpose Of This Project

The purpose of this project is to show how you can turn a useless river into a valuable asset. One part of my model shows a useless, shallow stream. The other part shows how a dam can change all of that. It provides a source of power, irrigation, and recreation. I built a model dam for my science project. I wanted to demonstrate what I wrote above.


1. 3 plastic straws
2. large cork
3. pieces of thin, stiff plastic
4. wire coat hanger
5. green sponge
6. pail
7. 2 catch pans
8. 2 flexible tubes
10. a small piece of wood (the measurements are difficult to tell)



1. Cut the wood to the length that is required. The wood must be 1/4 inch thick

2. Nail the wood together so it looks like two troughs.

3. Waterproof the model down the middle of each trough with caulking compound.

4. Paint the model with a green waterproof paint. You should use layers of paint on the model just to be sure that the water does not go through.

5. Drill three holes in the triangle that will be the dam. Secure this into one of the troughs. Use caulking compound.

6. Use a green sponge or something else that resembles trees to put on the side if each river. This will create the trees that are on the side of every river. Make the trees thick around the dam to show how the plant-life is thicker there in real life.

7. Make the turbine out of the cork and the stiff plastic, placing the plastic around the cork. Drill a hole in the middle of the cork and stick the wire of the coat hanger through it. Secure this to the model at the base of the dam.

8. Put three straws in the holes in the triangle piece that is the dam. Two of the straws that are on the outer edges must have holes in them made with a pin that are an inch apart. Plug the end of the straws with a clay.

9. Fill the bucket with water and put one end of the tubes into it. Place the other at the top of the model. Let the water run down the model into the catchpans.

The End

I did this project to find out more about dams. I hope that by looking at this project

and reading my report that you now know more about dams too.

Dams are important. I just hope that you now think so too.




Special thanks to:






 Miami Museum Of Science

Previous Page

Return to the Dams Homepage