Education on wheels rolled into the parking lot at Independence High school Friday as cable televisions' C-SPAN bus came to town to teach students about the electronic future.
Sponsored by the local TCI franchise, which is in partnership with Independence, the visit was the bus's first to Utah - although it's officially been on the road since October 1993 and logged 52,200 miles.The bright yellow bus is a customized 45-foot television studio with robotic cameras, an eight-channel audio board, tungsten lights and a character generator.
News footage can be shot right on board and aired on the C-SPAN networks linked into the local area viewing system.
Students, educators, ordinary citizens and community officials get a bus-eye view of how it all works and why public affairs programming is of value.
The students from Independence saw clips of Rush Limbaugh, the Senate and House in session and election coverage. Teachers and governmental representatives, including Mayor George Stewart, were taught about the online service, the library database and programming capabilities.
"It isn't all seriousness, either," said Rich Fahle, marketing representative, as he showed the kids a clip of a congressman killing the "Taxasaurus" with a giant pencil.
"The reason we exist is to provide you with coverage of critical issues," said Fahle. "C-SPAN is a network without commercials."
In Utah County, C-SPAN currently brings Provo City Council meetings into homes.