When I set out to accomplish this particular digital project, I was excited and a tad anxious about how the final would turn out. Having not been particularly “tech savvy”, I was excited to find that once I dove into my project, learning as I went came along with the process, and I was pleasantly surprised with my results. The idea of nuclear arms plants within the United States is a fascinating and relevant topic today. These plants were created as part of Cold War armament that dictated American policy for decades. They brought steady employment to the regions involved, built the nuclear arsenal of the United States, and were the precipice of many scientific breakthroughs in the field of nuclear physics. But they also brought countless environmental catastrophes, harmful environmental carcinogenic toxins in the air, cost billions of dollars to clean up and dispose of harmful materials, and continue to this day to have effects, both physical and on the environment, that are still unknown.
It is within this paradox that my digital project retains its relevancy. By highlighting the importance of these plants, this topic becomes educational and significant to future generations, who will in fact feel the effects that this generation does not even know about yet. Most of the plants that I have noted in my digital project are still in existence today. Although many are Superfund sites, their primary focus now is on environmental cleanup and studying the effects that the plants have on the environment and beyond. This begs the question, “is this too little, too late?” or is there serious research being done at these sites to try and find out just how much of an effect they had on the environment. As is shown through my project and poster, with only a small sampling of plants, it covers most of the continental United States. Having a digital component that places these sites in one location truly shows the extent that the Cold War created these plants that were initially designed to promote safety and security of Americans, while polluting the very world those Americans occupy. This was a fun and educational project for me, having had interest in Cold War history, specifically on nuclear arms policy. Although the interface of HistoryPin can be somewhat frustrating in what it allows me to see at once, I am pleased with the process of the project, and the final result.
Below is the link to my HistoryPin: