Hugely Helpful Handford

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another year of PLP posts.
As you may know, a large part of the PLP curriculum is field schools. A field school is like an elongated field trip that can last up to ten days. This elongated exposure tends to lead us to gather a deeper understanding of the information we are learning.

This year we had our field school in Oregon and Washington. This was a four day trip but Ill be talking more about this in a future blog post. For no lets talk about the unit that would later tie into this field school.

This terms unit was on The Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project was a top secret American project. The goal of the project was to create an atomic weapon to use in the second world war. The Americans ended up using it on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which led to their surrender at the end of the second world war.

Before the development of this bomb could begin, the US army needed to select research sites to work at. This site would need to be secretive, near a fresh water source, and in the middle of nowhere. They found three main sites from this criteria. These sites where Hanford (produced plutonium), Oak Ridge (home base, working on uranium separation) and Los Alamos (the making and testing of the bombs).

On our field school we visited the Hanford site. During this time we where tasked to research five interesting facts about Hanford and create a top five video in groups of 3 to 4. This involved quite a lot of research and lots of interviews while on the trip as supporting evidence.

My group consisted of Me, Alex, and Izzy. We decided to research the environmental impact of hanford. This was because of how radioactive the materials used on the site where. but here you can see for your self.

I know, I know. Its awesome! But how did we get to such an amazing video. well lets take a step back and Ill explain what went into our final product.

Before I can fully get into the nitty gritty of our video, I should explain why anyone would drop a 2.2 MILLION DOLLAR BOMB on innocent civilians. Incredibly, there’s a logical list of reasons the US dropped the bomb. If you want to learn these reasons, check-out this news reel. This reel was made to be in the style of a 1940’s news reel. The idea was to create a news reel that would have been seen a few days after the bomb dropped so that people would know why it was used.

We did lots of research into the behind the scenes of The Manhattan Project. To help us learn more about the people that worked on the project, each member of our class was tasked to create a caricature card on an individual who worked on the project.

Now back to our main project.
Our Hanford videos where all based on an episode of a TV show known as History In 5. There was lots of information throughout this video. For example, Hanford use to be a village known as White Bluffs.

Once we picked our topic, we needed to have five supporting points. Our supporting points were as follows; Health Risk To Workers, Pollution Of the Columbian River, Effects On Native Communities, Tank And Tunnel Collapse, and Clean Up Plans For The Future.

Our first draft was a relatively rough one. Our script was much too long, leaving the video looking more like a podcast. Luckily, our intro was pretty amazing so that helped bring it up the quality of the draft a little bit. However, this was not really a problem because, while on the field school, we got all the B-roll and interviews we needed. We also got great clips from both the Reach Museum and the Columbian River. Those clips were never intended to be taken but they worked well with our video.

I found this unit pretty interesting and I was quite amazed by how fast the bombs where created. I also felt that having a chance to go into the sites that we visited on our field trips really helps me to better understand and go into greater depth about the topics that we explored.


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