Hanford adventure

You may have read my previous post about the Manhattan Project. This post is all the behind the scenes of the learning and of course our experience on the trip. As much as a learning experience our field trip to Oregon/Washington was, we also had a lot of fun!!! 


Here is a short video with clips from the field trip:

We visited many interesting locations such as the Maryhill museum, Reed Collage, Powell’s Books, and of course, HANFORD!


Pretty much all of the locations we visited were related to our main topic, the Manhattan Project. In fact we spent two days exploring the Hanford site. We were collecting media, informantion and footage from this field trip for our videos. It was amazing to visit the place we had been learning about. It made all of what we learned come to life. Every location we went to there was always a great opportunity to film.

We set off bright and early and had a full day in the van driving to Portland, Oregon. The first day was pretty fun and relaxed, we explored downtown Portland. The city felt a little bit like Vancouver but with older looking buildings. In downtown Portland we visited Powell’s Books.

This is the largest independent book store in the world, it also took up an entire block! I found it really cool that they also sell second hand books as well as new copies. As always when we visit somewhere, we always have some kind of task. Our task was a find the funniest/ most interesting book to do with our hobbies. I found a book on skiing since it is my favourite sport. I found the cover pretty funny!

Our other task was to find the funniest book in group and reenact the cover. The title of the book we found as a group was “Billion Dollar Whale”

Kate acting as the Billion Dollar Whale.

In the evening in Portland, we stopped at the McMenamins Kennedy school. This school was transformed into a hotel with a  movie theatre and restaurant. Our class visited the movie theatre and Mama Mia 2 was playing! It was definitely the most impressive old school I had seen. It was covered in art work and looked very different to any other school. We only spent one night at Portland. The next day we drove to Washington however, we made many stops on the way.

We visited the Reed Reactor, at Reed Collage. I found it pretty fascinating that there would be a reactor at a collage. However, the collage only use it for research. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the reactor however, they had a well detailed diagram explaining how it works. Surrounding the reactor is water that is 25 feet deep.

Diagram of inside the reactor

Some fun facts: The water acts as a shield to stop the radiation from affecting the workers and also to cool the reactor. The temperature of the water is 18.5 degrees Celsius. Since the reactor is very radioactive you would not be able to go swimming. Although our guide did say that you could tread water at the top but any lower, would be dangerous (wouldn’t recommend it).

Walking into the room where the reactor was, was pretty impressive, everyone was mind blown. I was very curious about the radiation exposure on the students since they are working with reactor a lot! I found out that the students wear a monitor monitoring how much radiation they get exposed to. It is a very small dose and no one had ever reached the limit dosage.

On our trip we also visited the B Reactor, one of the main reactors used during the Manhattan Project!!!! It was the most impressive thing I had seen in a long time. The B Reactor is located at Hanford and it is where the plutonium was produced for the project. It was world’s first large-scale plutonium production reactor.

A highlight of the trip was visiting Multomah Falls and the Vista House of Art. We stopped at these two locations after a long day driving and we got to sprint up a hill to the water fall. The waterfall so amazing!!!! At the Vista House of Art there was an outstanding view of the Columbia River were my group for the Manhattan Project² (go check out our video!).

In Washington we stopped at the Maryhill Museum of Art. The area was very deserted except for a museum in literally the middle of nowhere. Here is a little bit of background, the house was established in 1907 when Sam Hill bought the 5,300 acres of land. He named his company after his daughter, Mary Hill. The Maryhill Museum is full of his art collections and the museum was open to the public in 1940.

While we visited the museum we had to find something that sparked our interest. It wasn’t too hard since I was curious about all the pieces of art work. While we visited we had to make a short video about a piece of art that stood out to us. Something that I was fascinated by was the chess collection:

As always on our trips we go to to exciting restaurants. This trip we went to Red Lobster, Endless Shrimp ! I had the best shrimp I hav ever had!! They brought you shrimp after shrimp and there was so many different flavours. The goal was to eat as much shrimp as possible and before we left we set our goals. I think I consumed around 50 shrimp. My favourite was the sesame seed and ginger.

Overall the field trip was a blast and a half. I learnt so much and I was able to implement my knowledge into the videos we created. This trip also swayed my mind into think nuclear reactors are pretty amazing. As always this PLP trip was a trip to remember!

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