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West Valley High School
Spokane, Wash.
Fish "escalator" to ferry salmon over man-made dams and into their spawning grounds


Hydroelectric dams along the Columbia River in Washington provide a relatively cheap and renewable source of electricity for millions of people, assist with irrigating farmland, and flood control; however, these powerhouses come with a problem. They prevent many salmon that would otherwise reach their spawning grounds from doing so. The West Valley High School InvenTeam will develop a solution to get the adult salmon and the smolts over the dams safely by using a system of specially-designed “Archimedes’ Screws.” These will carry the fish over the dam safely while minimizing water loss (and thus money). By doing this we aim to satisfy both the needs of the millions of people who rely on the dams for their survival and the needs of the environment.