Gifted and Talented students learned about hydropower. Students learned that moving water has kinetic energy (energy of movement). As the water falls through the air, its kinetic energy grows as its potential decreases. So when the water reaches the bottom of a water fall, all of its potential energy has been turned into kinetic energy.
That's the scientific and engineering way to understand why a waterfall has so much power. One can then understand how a hydropower plant works. A hydropower power plant is designed to take that power of falling water and use it to create electricity. The pressurized water is directed through large turbines that spin when the water hits them. When the turbine spins, it turns a shaft in the generator that generates electricity. Hydropower is an attractive energy source because it is renewable and clean. GT students created a turbine with a piece of cylinder foam and attached clear plastic rectangular pieces to simulate turbine blades. The GT students even thought of different ideas on how they could invent other uses for turbines! What a fun learning experience!