MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Students from several South Florida schools are getting an inside look at how Washington D.C. works.
Monday, C-SPAN’s all new, state-of-the-art bus stopped at several schools including Miami Jackson Senior High.
“Kind of gives them that fly on the wall perspective about what’s going on in their government,” said Vanessa Torres, marketing specialist for C-SPAN.
The bus is touring the country now, visiting state capitols, book fairs and schools along the way.
The 45-foot custom motor coach is decked out with interactive maps and computers giving students a real interactive experience.
Students are introduced to the non-partisan coverage unique to one network only, C-SPAN.
“They can test themselves on the branches of government and really feel like they’re in DC,” explained Torres. “We have a selfie section where they can take pictures with DC landmarks as well as a 360-degree area so they can feel like they’re in a press briefing room.”
Comcast chose the schools selected in Miami-Dade and Broward County to get the special visits.
For some students like Joseph Monilla who had never watched C-SPAN, suddenly there was a new interest in politics.
“When I go vote next time I could know to watch the channel and learn about the candidates and what my options are,” he said.
The bus features also include access to C-SPAN programming on 11 large-screen tablets, a smart TV and classroom area for conversations with students and teachers, and a high-definition TV production studio for taped and live programming.
Students and teachers are also being invited aboard the bus to learn about C-SPAN Classroom, a free online educational resource, and C-SPAN’s national documentary competition, StudentCam.
Awarding $100,000 in prize money, the competition challenges students to produce a 5-7 minute documentary using C-SPAN video to explore a local or national issue of importance. This year’s theme is “The Constitution and You,” asking students to pick any provision of the U.S. Constitution and illustrate why it’s important to them.
The C-SPAN bus is also visiting iPrep Academy, Sunrise Middle School and Pompano Beach Middle School during its South Florida stop.