The C-SPAN School Bus went to the Republican National Convention in San Diego over the summer and went back last week to catch the presidential debate. On Tuesday it stopped at Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates to teach students and community members about how the political network operates.
The school bus, an interactive mobile station filled with computers and television cameras, was launched in 1993 to educate viewers about politics.
The bus has become so popular that in January C-SPAN added a second bus to its nationwide tour. The wait for a bus visit is three years, which is how long it took for Cox Communications, the cable provider to the peninsula and San Pedro, to get its request filled.
"We've tried for three years to bring them here," said Cox General Manager Steve Fowler. "They couldn't have come at a better time. We are doing mock elections next week and we also wanted to remind people that voting is very important."
Cox hosted the school bus that came to the peninsula after making a stop Monday in Chatsworth. The bus will go to Banning High School in Wilmington on Wednesday before heading to Palm Springs and Arizona.
C-SPAN spokeswoman Monique Llanos said the bus is en route to Russell, Kan., Bob Dole's hometown, and will arrive there shortly before the election. The other bus, which is touring Florida, will head to Little Rock, Ark., President Bill Clinton's hometown, for election night.
Aboard the bus Llanos gave residents and students an inside look at the network. She pulled up a C-SPAN Web site that provides biographies of the various candidates and how they can be accessed and how students can find out information about various propositions and bills.
"It was really cool," said Mike Applegate, a senior at Peninsula High School. "Very educational."