DeKalb freshmen take top spots in story map competition –

WATERLOO — Freshmen world bio students at DeKalb High School won top prizes in the Cartographies of Indiana: Dynamics of Environment and Society Contest hosted by the Geography Educator’s Network of Indiana.

Students used digital story-mapping software to convey an Indiana-based story. The competition called for the maps to be about places and themes related to Indiana and to tell a compelling story.

Joey (Evelyne) Evans captured first place and received a $100 Amazon gift card.

Second-place went to Harmony Bonse and Alivia Crozier. Riley Herendeen and Keira Tarlton won third place and Destany Coburn and Mackenzie Smith were fourth. They each received $50 Amazon gift cards.

Evans’ project focused on the flower industry.

“I work for a greenhouse and I want to be a horticulturalist so I thought it’d be interesting to describe the flower industry and how it connects to Indiana,” said Evans.

“I used a lot of the flower farms here in Indiana and I also basically tied in the big flower importers and exporters — explaining how they sell flowers to larger companies like Kroger and Walmart and how they’re sold here.”

Of her first-place win, she said, “I was pretty excited. I was proud of my project.”

Of her project, the judges said, “This map brought together data acquisition, good mapping skills, great analysis and cohesive writing skills to tell an Indiana story that is also connected to the world, which was interesting and compelling.”

Bonse and Crozier worked together on their topic, “Killers of Indiana.”

“Morbid curiosity,” Bonse said of the reason behind their selected topic.

“I kind of want to be a criminal pathologist, I think, so I like learning about why people kill and how that could be possibly a help to maybe preventing killers in the future,” Crozier said.

Their project included specific categories of heinous murders, historic murders, spree killers, spiritual murders and serial killers passing through Indiana.

“They conveyed a topic that is generally interesting to many, relevant to Indiana, demonstrated good map skills and good writing skills,” the judges said.

Herendeen’s and Tarlton’s project was about Gary, Indiana-native and “King of Pop” Michael Jackson, from his birth until his death.

“We wanted to do something with music because we both like music,” Herendeen said of their topic.

“This map conveyed a topic that is always of interest to Indiana and to may individuals, demonstrated good map skills and good writing skills,” the judges commented.

For their project, Coburn and Smith focused on music in Indiana.

“We’re both in choir,” Smith said of their interest in music.

On what she found out about music in Indiana, Coburn said, “That it still lives. Like even old singers — the people who have passed away — and they all have a story behind them.”

“This map conveyed a topic that is of interest to many and is relevant to Indiana,” the judges said.

“I think it was a lot of fun,” Crozier said of the competition.

“Harmony and I have a lot of curiosity surrounding what we did so it was fun to get the opportunity to use an application that we typically wouldn’t and dig into that fully and explore Indiana,” Crozier said.

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