Blood, Concrete, and Dynamite is a new TED-Ed lesson that tells the story of the building of the Hoover Dam. The lesson explains why the dam was built, the short-term economic impact of its construction (21,000 people employed by the project), the engineering of the dam, the environmental impact, and the human toll of its construction. While it touches on all of those topics, the emphasis of the lesson is on how many people benefitted from its construction and the people who died during its construction. You can watch the lesson here and find the accompanying lesson questions here.
Despite already knowing the history of the construction of the dam, I still found the video entertaining and informative. Overall, it’s a good summary of the dam’s construction. You would need to look elsewhere to really dive into the engineering of the dam or the environmental impact of the dam.
Of course, I can’t think of the Hoover Dam without also thinking of the famous dam tour scene in National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation and The Highwaymen performing The Highwayman.