General Overview History of the Panama Canal

Called the Eight Wonder of the World by some and the Big Ditch by others, the Panama Canal is indeed an engineering marvel. The long, complicated, and sometimes controversial history of the canal is captured in a presentation loaded with maps, images, photos, and facts.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups research the electric locomotives (called Mules) used to tow vessels through the canal locks, the mighty dredges used to keep the canal open, the progress on the second and third canals, and the engineering behind how water is recycled through the locks
  • Other research opportunities include the mosquito eradication programs, the members of the commission that now regulates the canal, the politics behind why the United States ceded the canal back to Panama, and the cost of traversing the canal
Classroom Considerations

  • The slide show is length, requiring at least 30 minutes to show and read all 81 slides
Pros

  • Includes information about the various sites that were considered and the challenges posed by each of these sites
Cons

  • None