Hydropower/STEM/Resources/wind patterns and hydropower in the desert

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 STEM Resources

Wind Patterns and Hydropower in the Desert

Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Description: Students learn how the Coriolis effect and Hadley convection cells determine the location of deserts on Earth. Once students understand the importance of global winds, they discuss hydropower in the desert. They compare and contrast two case studies: China’s Three Gorges Dam and Chile’s proposed plant in the Atacama Desert that would creatively use solar power to move seawater up to the top of a mountain so that it can flow back down and generate power.

Topics explored: falling water, global weather patterns, Hadley cells, hydropower model

Education Level

• High School

Resource Type

• Curricula, Pacing Guides, Lesson Plans


• Engineering


• Energy Basics

• Hydrology

• Hydropower Facilities