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Teens Explore Their ‘Sense of Place’ in Video Project

Editor’s note: We are pleased to present these 18 videos, each one produced by a student in Rachel Bahr’s English 11 class at The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship. Student Madison Mullis expertly explains the project in detail below, but we would like to point out how the videos capture not only these 11th graders’ creativity and individuality but also what they value in their community.

Last year, Bahr’s English 11 students photographed areas that were significant to them, after which they wrote a brief description telling why they chose that place. Limestone Post compiled all of their entries into a single article. This year, the students were challenged to create an immersive audio and video tour. The project was inspired by Detour, a mobile app that allows users to compose an audio walking experience.

These students’ videos show the importance of landmarks and shared community experiences, as well as the individuality of the students’ voices. We might be witnessing the next Dorothy Parker, Wes Anderson, or Ken Burns. These videos express deep emotions (without sentimentality) and can easily make the viewer laugh and cry, with pride not only at the culture we’re passing to the next generation but also at how they’re embracing it. These students’ videos show the importance of landmarks and shared community experiences, as well as reveal the individuality of the students’ voices.

Rachel Bahr's two fall 2017 English 11 classes. | Courtesy photos

Rachel Bahr’s two fall 2017 English 11 classes. | Courtesy photos

By Madison Mullis, The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship English 11

This fall, we found our sense of place. Our English 11 teacher at The Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Ms. Bahr, introduced a project by first showing us the classic movie Breaking Away (1976). While watching the movie, we excitedly hunted for all the familiar landmarks and talked about the changes that have been made to our local landscape. After reading Sarah Gordon’s 2016 article “Are Market Forces Ruining B-town’s ‘Sense of Place’?,” we were asked a simple question:

“How can you, as a resident of Bloomington, share your ‘sense of place’ in an immersive audio tour?” Instantly, the name The Chocolate Moose was thrown around, an important part in the childhood of so many Bloomington residents. Each of the two English 11 classes took a walking tour to The Chocolate Moose to explore this historic business and its new changes. We were also able to check out and document other Bloomington landmarks along the way.

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After choosing our sense of place, we got to work on creating our audio tour. We took pictures and videos of our sense of place and recorded our descriptions of the location and its significance to us. We then put all the pieces together to create what we hope is an immersive audio and visual tour of some of our favorite local places. This project had a different meaning for each of us; we drew from our diverse experiences and still ended up sharing a strong ‘sense of place’ with our small corner of Indiana. We hope you enjoy!

Lily Macneil Kitscher, Jordan Greenhouse, Indiana University

Naomi Nichols, Sexton Springs Road, Owensburg

Diego Ansaldo, Kirkwood Avenue

Natasha Shaw, Family Property

Samantha Ireland, Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Jasmine Erlien, Vintage Phoenix Comic Books

Eliyah Zayin, Templeton Elementary School

Anna Porter, Centerton Elementary School, Martinsville

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Corbin Jones, IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Allison Batalon, Evil by the Needle

Alisha Wells and Max Horne, Cedar Bluffs Nature Preserve

Jillian Barnes, Ballet Department, Indiana University Musical Arts Center

Sidney Thomas, Paynetown SRA, Lake Monroe

Maya Baird, Downtown Bloomington

Brayden Marquez, The Project School

Madison Mullis, Richland-Bean Blossom Youth Sports Fields, Ellettsville

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Luke Saunders, Unionville

Aerial footage courtesy of Seth Teeters.

Gabriel Alminauskas, McCormick’s Creek State Park, Spencer

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Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship English 11
As part of Monroe County Community School Corporation’s Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship — a New Technology High School — the English 11 class explores and studies literature and composition using multiple pathways as a way to enrich their knowledge and apply their learning in a variety of situations.
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