STEVENSVILLE — The state-of-the-art, 45-foot CSPAN mobile classroom made a stop at Kent Island High School and Matapeake Middle School Friday, Dec. 13, to introduce students to educational resources on government and politics.
Atlantic Broadband, a partner in bringing the motor coach from the Washington/Baltimore region, made stops in five Maryland counties including Queen Anne’s.
“We hope students see there are many educational resources at CSPAN in and out of the classroom,” said Doug Hemmig, community relations representative for CSPAN. “We have over 250,000 hours of content they can access anytime, and this helps to showcase those resources. In many cases, teachers are already using CSPAN in the classroom, but this really helps to emphasize that.”
Hemmig added that for many high school seniors voting for the first time, having an unbiased source of information develops an educated electorate.
The mobile classroom provides social studies teachers with access to thousands of free resources. The bus is also going to schools that have participated in CSPAN’s annual documentary competition, StudentCam.
This year’s contest theme, “What’s Your Vision in 2020?,” asks students to explore the issue they most want presidential candidates to address during the campaign.
“This is an opportunity the kids never get and having it here is huge,” said Lynda Kepley, a government teacher for 10th-grade honors and non-honors classes. “I hope they get a better understanding of what CSPAN is and the avenues they cover. This gives them a good understanding of areas of news without a bias, and we talk about CSPAN in the classroom as well.”
Tools on the motor coach include access to an exclusive interactive experience available on 11 large-screen tablets featuring CSPAN programming and myriad political and educational resources, a smart TV and classroom area for conversations with students and teachers, and a high-definition TV production studio for taped and live programming.
The vehicle also features a 360-degree video station featuring CSPAN’s unfiltered coverage of high-profile events and insightful, behind-the-scenes tours of U.S. landmarks and a Washington, D.C.-themed selfie station where visitors can share their bus experiences through social media.
“This is a great opportunity for us and is a great educational tool for the community and schools here. We take great pride in partnering with them to bring this to schools. This allows us to make a difference by making (connections) with partners,” said Bernard Hazelwood, general manager for Atlantic Broadband.
Hazelwood said Atlantic Broadband recognizes the importance of the internet as a tool for students and public in receiving reliable information.
The mobile classroom has become an ambassador tool for CSPAN as it has visited schools across the country and reached out to thousands of students.