By Michael Jimenez
After a brief presentation by C-SPAN National Account Executive Matthew McGuire, students who boarded the 45’ customized bus took advantage of self guided multimedia tours and computer kiosks demonstrating C-SPAN’s many web offerings including a video library, laptops and mobile application devices.
The C-SPAN Digital Bus and crew travel the country, producing programs, and promoting civic engagement through education. The tour is an effort by C-SPAN to market the company and its philanthropic services, including increased awareness for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
“What we hope that the students leave the bus with is a better understanding of just what the C-SPAN networks are,” McGuire said. “Often times there is a misconception that we are a government channel, and although we do cover Congress, we are not affiliated with the government. We are a private non-profit public service of the cable television industry. So we want people to realize that channel they are perhaps flipping by really has a lot of good information that will help them.”
The hands-on experience gave students like English senior Anna Dunk an opportunity to learn more about C-SPAN.
“My favorite part of the bus tour was learning about the video library on-line, and how you can personally edit the clips to fit them into whatever project your working on,” Dunk said.
Time Warner Cable, which sponsors the C-SPAN Digital Bus, began touring the country in June 2010 in an effort to build on its philanthropic initiative, Connect a Million Minds (CAMM), a five-year, $100 million initiative that targets declining competency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Developed by the U.S. Department of Education, The National Science Foundation and other partnerships, the programs are an effort to address educational needs and increase global competition.
Melba Harris, communications manager of Time Warner Cable, said boarding the bus is an exciting opportunity for students.
“Time Warner cable has connected thousands of young people to hands-on learning opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) so they are prepared to solve the challenges of the future. We look forward to continuing to work with youth in the San Antonio community as we continue our commitment to inspire them to pursue STEM related careers,” Harris said.
C-SPAN Marketing Representative Rachel Katz said she was pleased with the turnout and the questions students asked. Katz took time away from the students to interview Dr. Bill Bush, interim head of the School of Arts and Sciences for an upcoming segment on Book TV. Bush is the author of “Who Gets a Childhood,” published by the University of Georgia Press.
UPDATE: View the video segment here: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WhoGe