Thank You OPG (Ontario Power Generation)

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In the last month our class has been studying electricity. So as a way to culminate this unit, we took an amazing trip to OPG, Thunder Bay Generating Station on Mission Island. Thanks to their cooperation and generosity we got to see one of the biggest hidden gems in Thunder Bay. Wow, what a place it is! I have asked my students to include letters of thanks in this post and to share their favourite part of the tour.

Thanks again Bill Dickerson for making our tour so informative and interesting.

opg

20 thoughts on “Thank You OPG (Ontario Power Generation)

    Josh said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Wednesday December 17th, 2014

    Dear Bill Dickerson,
    I am writing you this letter in thanks for inviting us to OPG on Friday December 12th. My name is Josh Anson from St. James Public school.
    The thing I liked the most was the 620 foot stack. Although we only went about halfway, I still liked it. Right outside the elevator at the top was pretty cool. But I liked everything we did while we were there.
    I learned that the plant used to use coal, but it was polluting the air so they stopped using it. I also found out that the little wood pellets expand while in water and eventually get soggy.
    My questions are” how do wood pellets get soggy in water? When are the chimneys on the stack used? These are my only questions for you.
    Thanks again for inviting us over to OPG! We appreciate everything you taught us kids.

    Sincerely,

    Joshua

    cheryl said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Dear Bill Dickerson, Wednesday,17,2014

    Hi, I’m Cheryl from St. James School. I am writing this letter in thanks for letting us come to the Ontario Power Generation plant center for the fieldtrip.
    What I really enjoyed most was when we went to the 620ft high tower. Another thing I also enjoyed was, wearing the hard hat and glasses, and the heights. I’ve always seen the big tower, it was my first time ever to go inside! Also I thought the science lab was very cool, with all those chemicals and science glasses.
    What I learned while visiting the Ontario Power Generation was to never panic if the alarm goes off, otherwise, things get out of control. Also another thing I learned was when, the workers are putting in the fuel I think they put safety locks on it so nobody will turn it on, while they’re in there.
    I have some questions for you, who built the 620ft tower? It seems really tall. How did they build it? How old is the whole building? Why are so much people getting moved to a different location?
    We appreciate you for taking your time to show us the Ontario Power Generation plant and teaching us new things about.
    Sincerely,

    Cheryl

    Irelynn :3 said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Dear Mr. Shan and Ms. Dares Friday Dec 17 2014

    Hello, It’s Irelynn from St. James School I am writing this letter to you guys because I want to tell you how much you guys did for this class and how good you guys did at teaching here. I really had fun when you guys were here and I really miss you guys.

    First off I am going to tell you that you did a lot for the class. I am sure we really enjoyed all your hard work you put into teaching us about electricity and a lot of cool math we did about graphs and mean, median, and mode. I really understand it all now and I can do it without help but before I needed help and didn’t know what to do but now I do and I’m glad I do now, you guys are AWESOME.

    Secondly I wanted to ask a few questions about you guys and all the stuff you know. How did you guys learn all the stuff you know? Did you guys just learn this stuff about our science? Is it your first time using a smart board? Where were you originally from or were you born in Thunder Bay? Were you born in Canada? Do you speak other languages? When is your birthday? What Age are you now? What year were you born in? And most importantly did you like being at this school?
    I really loved it when you guys were here because you made everything fun and I think everyone liked it when you were here and you did all of fun things and my favorite part of you guys being here was when we did graphing and the balloon experiment I thought that was really fun.
    Sincerely

    Irelynn Fisher 
    (i wasn’t here for this)

    Connor said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Wednesday, December, 17, 2014

    Dear OPG Staff,

    I am writing you this letter in thanks for taking your precious time to give us (St. James) a tour of the power generating plant.

    I enjoyed a lot of things in the tour including the “very” tall stack but sadly only went 200ft up it. We saw a lot of cool things like the turbine that actually produces electricity and The Stack (620ft)

    I learned a lot from Bill (the safety man) like how your plant produces electricity from the turbine and a HUGE furnace. Like how would kid or an adult do that? Well you must be smart and RICH (A.K.A a lot of money)

    Well I will “now” throw some questions at you and hopefully you respond. Ok how many years does it take to get a job there? Do you guys help the other Ontario power generating plants out there? When will you run the plant in the future?

    Thank you again for taking your time to give us a tour of your plant. We really appreciate that we could get a tour of the plant.

    Sincerely,

    Connor 🙂

    Sylvia said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:29 am

    December 17, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson of OPG,
    Hello. It’s Sylvia Boland from Mr. Purdon’s grade 6 class at St. James School. I am writing this letter to you because our class just recently went on a field trip to the OPG to become more educated on electricity, and I wanted to thank you for taking the time to teach our class more about electricity.
    I think what I enjoyed most about our field trip to the OPG was getting to go onto the smoke stack! I still cannot believe that our class was 200 feet in the air!! Wow! I also loved getting to see the control room. I thought it was so interesting getting to see the men and women get to control the power and set up cameras that monitor different places in the building. So amazing!
    While being at the OPG, I also learned many things. One of the things I learned is that coal is in fact renewable! Before, our class went to the OPG, we thought that coal was non-renewable. Even though it may take many thousands of years, it still can be renewed.
    I also had a few questions to ask you about electricity. How long has the OPG been running for? How long have you worked at the OPG? What was your first thought when the OPG burned their last piece of coal? These are only a few of my many questions that might never be answered.
    Thank you very much Bill for taking the time to read my letter, and for teaching our class so many amazing things about electricity.
    Sincerely,

    Sylvia

    Lennox said:
    December 17, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Dear, Bill Dickerson, Friday, December, 12th.
    I am writing this letter to thank you for letting us come to the OPG. My name is Lennox and I go to St. James public school.
    My favourite part of going to the power plant was going up 200 feet in that tall thing. I loved standing on the metal floor and I loved looking down. I really liked going and I wish we could go back and do it again.
    I also learned some stuff while at the power plant. I learned that coal is a pretty good source of power. Coal can power the usual amount of energy we use every day for 400 years. Also, currently the OPG has 100 people working but it’s predicted that 40 people will be forced to quit due to having to retire or to work at a different power plant
    There are a few questions that I want to ask you. Why is there a chemistry lab in the power plant? And why should we wear hard hats?
    That’s all I have to say. Thanks again for inviting us to come.
    Sincerely,

    Lennox M.

    maddy said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Dear Bill Dickerson, Wednesday, December-17-14

    Hello it’s Madison from St. James School. I am writing this letter in thanks for letting us come for a wonderful tour of Ontario Power Generation.

    I just want to share what I liked about the trip. One part I liked was not being high in the air, another part I liked was the science lab, the last thing I liked wass the computer lab.

    I learned that you guys will be switching to biomass soon instead of coal. Another thing I learned was that the computers were old and some were new. One last thing that I learned was that in the science lab the keys were to shut stuff off.
    I just want to ask some questions. How long have you been working there? How old is the plant? How is it working there at the plant?

    Thanks again for letting us on the field trip.

    Sincerely,

    Madison

    Chloe said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Wednesday December 17, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson,
    Hi! My name is Chloe and last week, on Friday December 12, my grade 6 class from St. James Public School went to Ontario Power Generation. We went there to learn about electricity, and finish our unit in science about that topic.
    The first topic I wanted to discuss with you is what I enjoyed most about our field trip. I absolutely loved the smoke stack and how the floors are see-through with these small little gates keeping us stable. The trip up to the smoke stack was also fun because the floors were once again, just small gates and we were so high up from the main level of the facility. I also enjoyed going into the control room because there was a programming station from the 1980’s or the 1970’s and there was also one from sometime in the 2000’s. It was neat to see how much technology has developed over the years!
    Another thing I wanted to talk to you about is what I learned from my experience at OPG. I learned that the smoke stack is the safest place to be in a lightning storm because there are these copper wires that run throughout the stack and they effectively, and safely, transport the electricity into the ground. I also learned that the OPG located in Thunder Bay is the first ever station, I guess you could call it, in the world to burn biomass. That’s pretty amazing for little Thunder Bay!
    Before I go and sign off this letter, I wanted to ask you a few questions about OPG. First off, when did it really open? I remember last year that there was some debate about this, so I just wanted to clear it up. Where was the first OPG ever opened in Ontario? This question has sort of been bugging me for a while now. Finally, is there a bigger smoke stack somewhere else in Ontario? What about Canada?
    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I hope sometime next year that I am able to come back to OPG. I was truly amazing!
    Sincerely,

    Chloe

    mark said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Dear Bill Dickerson, Thursday 12 2014

    This is mark from St. James. I am writing this as thanks for you and the crew for letting the grade 6 class come for a field trip, to the OPG Power Plant.
    I enjoyed going 200ft in the tower, I still want to go all 620ft so maybe next time we could go all the way if I go again.
    I learned that to create power in the power plant you haft to boil water and that makes steam and the steam terns in to viper and that makes power
    Here are the questions I have, how big is the whole plant, how much power does the plant make a year?

    Sincerely,

    Mark Powell

    zak said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Dear Bill (and opg staff) Wed, 17 December, 2014

    Hi, my name is Zak, and I am from st James, and I am writing you this letter in thanks for giving us a tour of the Ontario power generating plant.
    I enjoyed it when we went into the stack and got to look down and get dizzy, I also enjoyed when we got the picture of our class taken, and another thing I enjoyed was when you, Bill, told us the story of when part of the plant blew up, and the last thing I enjoyed was pretty much, well, everything.
    Thanks to you and the rest of the staff I learnt that we, small town thunder bay, are the only city that uses wood pellets, IN THE WORLD, how cool is that! I also leant that the electricity in the plant is produced by a whole bunch of turbines and a gigantic furnace.
    Now I have some questions that I want to ask you. How much electricity does the plant produce a day? How long does one of those huge piles of pellets last you? And, when is your next shipment of pellets?
    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and thank you for giving us a tour of the plant, so goodbye, and stay safe.
    Sincerely,
    Zak

    Lucas said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Wednesday December 17 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson,

    I am writing you this letter in thanks for letting us come to the OPG.

    At the OPG what I enjoyed most was the tour I also liked getting to see the science lab what I liked about the OPG was seeing the control room and my most favourite thing about the OPG was getting to go into the stack tower it was fun and scary at the same time.

    What I learned at the OPG was in the control room if there is something flashing on the screen it means that one of the machines aren’t working properly and what I also learned that they use wood pellets to burn in the furnace and what I learned that the stack tower was 620 feet high.

    I have a question for OPG how long did it take to build the stack tower? Also do you know how long it took the whole OPG?

    thanks again for reading my letter and thanks for giving us a tour of OPG.

    Sincerely
    Lucas

    Keira said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Wednesday December 17, 2014

    Dear Bill Dickerson and other employees of OPG,
    Hi! I’m Keira from St .James Public School. I am writing to you today to say thanks for inviting my class to come to the Ontario Power Generator. We had a lot of fun.
    I want to start off this letter by telling you my favorite part of the trip. There were a lot of great parts of the field trip. But my most favored part of the field trip would have to be the control room. It was so interesting to see all of the monitors showing all sorts of numbers and images. I didn’t understand a thing. But it was still really awesome.
    Next I wanted to tell you some things that I learned. I learnt that Thunder Bay is leading the world in a project that is letting us use wood pellets to harness energy. I also learnt that a few years back, there was a static electricity explosion caused by a flaw in the earlier model of the pellets. I also learnt that the smoke stack at OPG is 620 feet tall. I learned a lot that day.
    I was wondering, is working at the OPG hard? Are the hours long? On a scale of 1-10, how bad is the deer overpopulation? I’m sorry that I don’t have many questions. Bill taught us so much, so I don’t know what to ask.
    In conclusion, going to OPG was by far one of my most favorite field trips. I learned so much and saw some amazing things. I would go back any day. It was fantastic.
    Sincerely yours,

    Keira E.

    Jewel said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Wednesday December 17, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson,
    Hi! My name is Jewel and last week on Friday December 12, my class went to OPG (Ontario Power Generation) to learn about electricity and how energy flows to make electricity to power Thunder Bay for our science subject.
    The first topic I would like to head off with is what I really enjoyed! In the middle of our class’s little tour, we went up 200 ft. in the place called the smoke stack which is 620 ft. tall; I learnt that the smoke stack is the safest place during a lightning storm because there are copper wires around the walls that help the electricity to the ground without harming anyone or anything. Some of my class mates were a little frightened to go into the smoke stack because some don’t like heights, or are afraid of the building breaking. I wouldn’t blame them because the smoke stack is far off the ground and it is a little old, but fears are fears and nobody can be mad at that. It was such an adrenaline rush being up there, the cold air made me a little tired but I didn’t want to miss out on the learning! I loved everything like the science lab, the computer room, the engineer work shop, and the chemical dusting room, but the smoke stack really stood out.
    Another topic I would like to talk to you about OPG is what I learned. At OPG, I learned a lot of important details about OPG that I can’t list on here, so I’m going to list the main 2 things that I thought were cool to learn. In the science lab room, I learned that all the keys that are hanging from a wall, work a machine so instead of someone accidentally pressing a button and turn on a machine while someone’s working on it, it doesn’t harm anyone. Also, the second thing I learned about OPG was the engineers in OPG fix any machine that’s down quickly and safely. Though it takes a long time to go through engineering school (About 5 years because it’s a big opportunity that takes a lot of responsibility), it would be an honor to be working at OPG.
    Before I say goodbye, I would like to ask you some questions. When you’re at OPG, what do you enjoy the most? Do you love working at OPG? Do you like to be called Safety Bill or just Bill? Also, can we come see you again when we’re in Vance Chapman? Hopefully you are able to talk to Mr. Purdon to answer my questions! Thank you if you do!
    We appreciate you taking your time to give us a tour and to read our letters. On behalf of Mr. Purdon’s Gr.6 class, thank you, Safety Bill!
    Sincerely,

    Jewel

    jorja said:
    December 17, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Dear Bill Dickerson and OPG workers, Wednesday, December 17, 2014.

    Hi, I am writing this letter to say how I liked the tour that Bill gave me and my friends. By the way this is Jorja from St. James Public School I’m in gr.6.
    The thing that I enjoyed the most was when you took us in the science lab and showed us all the chemicals in the science lab.
    When you took us on the tour I learned that the tower was 620 Fto. And that you always have to wear those special hard hats and glasses.
    I have a couple questions for you. What chemicals do you use in the science lab? How much people work for you? How much chemicals do you have?
    Thank you for taking your time to read my letter.
    Sincerely,

    Jorja.

    marta said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Wednesday December 17, 2014

    Dear Bill Dickerson and all the workers of OPG,
    Hello. My name is Marta, I go to St. James public school, and I am writing you this letter in thanks for the wonderful tour of your awesome power plant.
    First, I would like to share what I loved most about your amazing facility. The first thing I really liked was the smoke stack, I really loved going 200 ft. up, another thing I really liked about the smoke stack was you got to look down through the floor and see how high you were.
    Secondly, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned when I was there. The first thing I learned was that you guys are the first power plant to run off of biomass, the second thing that I learned was that Niagara falls is the biggest hydroelectricity dam, and the last thing that I learned is that there is a key that shuts off stuff while you’re working.
    Lastly, I have a couple questions for you, first, how long you’ve been working at the plant? How long has the plant been around? Second, how much time do you spend there? And lastly, how many years of school does it take to get a job there?
    Thank you for taking the time to read my letter, and thanks again for the great opportunity to come here and see how electricity is made. We really appreciate the great experience.
    Sincerely,

    Marta

    sierra said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Wedsday, December, 17, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson
    I am writing you this letter in thanks for giving my class a wonderful tour of the smoke stack and the OPG plant.
    While I was at the OPG, I learned that the smoke stack was 600 feet tall, also OPG is on an island, and that one rail cart filled with coal only gives electricity for one hour.
    I have some questions, and one of my questions is, why does OPG have a smoke stack when it pollutes the air? And who discovered the thing about the biomas and why didn’t they make it water proof when they first made it?
    Thanks again for showing me, and my class parts of the OPG,
    We appreciate your time and your effort.

    Sincerely, Sierra

    jayvis said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Wednesday 17, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson,
    I am Jayvis from Pikangikum but I’m in Thunder Bay at St. James school. I’m writing this letter to thank you for a tour
    I enjoyed the stacks we went up to the top not to the very top of it, it was cool going up there but we had fun up there and we got to talk about electricity when got to the facility then we got to wear the safety helmets with safety glasses too.
    I got to learn about the control office, where the workers check on the generators if there is a fire.
    How does a generator work?
    Sincerely,

    Jayvis (:

    muftah said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Wednesday December, 12, 2014
    Dear Bill Dickerson
    I am Muftah Badi I go to St. James school grade 6. I am writing you this letter in thanks for you and the workers of OPG by letting us come.
    My favorite part of OPG are the heights and I cant believe that went 200 ft in the sky!!! But it was actually 620 ft in all in the sky.
    Also I learned some new things in OPG too! Like the pellets that the black ones are still not available in Canada. Alsothe carts with the trains are full of pellets.
    Sincerely,

    Muftah

    dylandolph said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Dear Bill Dickerson, Wednesday December 17

    Thank you for the tour of power plant the most of the tour
    was lab and the office where the people opened the gate. I like the 620 ft building and it was cool. I learn how to use a ruler and little paper pieces. I learn how to use a balloon to make Static electricity , When the balloon is rubbed on your hair you can place the balloon on the wall it will stick to it. I learn how a balloon can make it roll with stick electricity. I learn how parallel circuit works.

    Thanks again for the tour.

    Sincerely

    dylan d

    Elyse said:
    December 17, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Dear Bill Dickerson,
    I’m writing to you because I really enjoy going to OPG. I hope you don’t stop the tours.
    I love going to OPG especially the smoke stack. Every time I see the smoke stack it looks smaller for some reason.
    I learned so much from you guys. I learned that coal is pollutant and non-renewable rescores.
    Why do we need electricity when it just destroys the earth? When do you think the earth will lose its electricity?
    Thank you for reading my letter. I hope you have a nice retirement.
    Sincerely,
    Elyse!

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