MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — The Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay covers 3,200 miles. It goes through all 92 counties and there is a group of college students documenting it every step of the way.
The relay started in September and ends on Oct. 15th in Indianapolis. It celebrates Indiana’s 200 years and is designed to bring Hoosiers together.
31 students from Ball State University are participating in a project where they travel along the relay path and take still photographs and videos of the event for the state.
“I’ve done a lot of immersion projects, but this is definitely the most rewarding and the most fun,” said Nicole Lehrman, a student at BSU.
“I have seen so much on this relay path. They have taken us on horses, hovercraft so we got to chase it with a boat behind it. They take it on big trailers. They’ve taken it on horse and buggy, literally everything they’ve done,” said Sadie Lebo, another student at BSU.
The students in this project work long hours. They post updated photos and videos of the relay online each day.
“I thought this would be not only an excellent educational opportunity, but a great way to provide a valuable service to the state,” said Chris Flook.
Flook is an instructor at BSU. He is leading the group through this project. Flook said the project helps students grow their portfolio while gaining real world experience.
“We just have to solve the problems as they come up. The learning is really just that, how to like think on the fly and being able to still deliver a pretty good product,” said Flook.
He hopes the experience becomes more than just that for the students participating.
“Once they realize that they weren’t just recording history… they were actually part of it, I think that will be significant,” said Flook.
Many of those students already realize that.
“This is the 200th anniversary. This literally is only going to happen one time ever,” said Lebo.
“I’ve actually been really surprised at the places that I didn’t think would be that interesting that actually had so many people coming out. They had so many interesting ways to carry the torch and it’s been really, really fun so far in that regard,” said Lehman.
Students say this is a unique way to learn while showing pride for the state.
“I was always proud to be a Hoosier, but I feel like this project has brought that out even more because it’s amazing what every county brings to the table and just how important this means to everyone,” said Lebo.
There’s also a team working on a documentary about the relay. That debuts in December.
To see the photos and videos that the students post along the trail visit their website here.