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Hydroelectric Dams
One of the best ways to learn about energy is to visit its source. Here in the Pacific Northwest, many of our hydroelectric dams have Visitor Centers that offer educational tours for individuals and school groups. To schedule a tour, contact the Visitor Center directly. While you're there, ask for a free copy of BPA's coloring book for kids, "Saving Energy with Zippie, Splash and SamN." Here are contacts for some of the region's largest visitor centers:
  • Bonneville Dam Visitor Center - 541-374-8820
  • Bonneville Dam Visitor Center Washington Shores - 509-427-4281
  • The Dalles Dam - 509-506-7819
  • Grand Coulee Dam - 509-633- 9265
  • Rocky Reach Dam - 509-661-4960
To see if there is a hydroelectric facility near you, check the Foundation for Water & Energy Education's damfinder feature. Or, check out this on-line tour of a hydroelectric project: Walk through a hydro project.
BPA Laboratory Tour
Electricity 101
Students can visit BPA laboratories in Vancouver, Wash. for an up-close look at how electricity works in the Northwest. They visit three stations; the High Voltage Labs, the Mechanical Testing labs, and a visit with "Dr. Science" who shares little-known facts about electricity. The tour takes approximately 2 hours and can accommodate groups of up to 100 students. Tours are offered for one week in the fall and one week in the spring, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.
To register, email Kelly Jorgensen  with the school name, teacher contact information, and size of your group. Registration for spring tours begins in January of each year; registration for fall tours begins in September.