The Bay Area Bridge Project

The Bay Area Bridge Project is a student-driven field study project that was created in a blended class co-taught by a photography teacher and a history teacher. The students came up with their own projects and research questions, came up with a theme to unite their ideas and altered their projects to fit together under the theme, and gave each other weekly feedback. Individually, the projects give the viewer a detailed look at one issue relevant to the Bay Area, looking at themes like technology, queer activism, water use, and the middle class. As a whole, the projects tell the story of the San Francisco Bay Area in the year 2014 and how each issue is a bridge that connects us to each other.

The idea of the “Bridge” as a theme came from Sarah Newsham, a senior at The Athenian School. “Much of the Bay Area’s iconography centers around bridges, but I think it would be interesting to look at other things that are connectors in the Bay Area. For example, language is a bridge between people, technology is a bridge in that it connects us to each other and to people and events around the world, and immigration provides a bridge between different cultures. I think the idea of bridges and connections and could be applied to a variety of photography projects.”

The Bay Area Bridge Project was born out of a class titled Field Study Photography And Bay Area History that is part of the five school BlendEd Consortium that began in 2014. The class was created and co-taught by Miranda Thorman from Marin Academy and Adam Thorman from The Athenian School. We had students from The Athenian School in Danville, CA, Lick-Wilmerding in San Francisco, CA, and College Preparatory School in Oakland, CA.

Miranda headshot

Miranda Thorman, Marin Academy, History Teacher
Miranda teaches Modern World History II, U.S. History, and Latin American Studies: Mexico and Central America at Marin Academy. She’s a sophomore advisor, a member of the Diversity Council, and the faculty advisor to the Model United Nations and Build On clubs. Before coming to Marin Academy, Miranda taught History at University High School in San Francisco and at Berkeley High School, where she was a founding faculty member and Co-Lead Teacher for the International Baccalaureate program. Miranda is a graduate of the University of California at San Diego, where she majored in History and minored in Vocal Music Performance and Women’s Studies. She received her MA in Education from Stanford University.

Adam portrait 2

Adam Thorman, The Athenian School, Photography Teacher
Adam teaches Photography I and II, Advanced Photography, Humanitas, and Arts, Culture and Identity at the Athenian School. Before coming to Athenian, Adam taught at Prescott College, Art Institute of Pittsburgh- Online Division and Arizona State University. He also teaches workshop classes at Berkeley Art Studio at UC Berkeley. Adam earned a BFA in Photography from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and an MFA in Photography from Arizona State University. He is also a working artist and has shown nationally, including exhibitions at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ, Sam Lee Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Pictura Gallery in Bloomington, IN. He also has work in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.