Arizona Mobile Education providing affordable field trips for students

Oct 24, 2019, 5:00 AM | Updated: 7:09 pm
(Griselda Zetino/KTAR News)...
(Griselda Zetino/KTAR News)
(Griselda Zetino/KTAR News)

PHOENIX — A Chandler couple is giving students a field trip experience that doesn’t require them to leave school.

“We come to the school,” said Steve Cohen. “Our tagline is the field trip that comes to you.”

He and his wife Christine Cohen transformed a school bus into a learning center they call Arizona Mobile Education. It has work stations covering Arizona’s five C’s: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.

“These are designed to be hands-on,” Christine said. “This is not a museum. All the students are allowed to touch, pick up. We want them to explore.”

Each work station has activities and educational components for students.

The station focused on cotton, for example, has natural cotton balls for students to touch and observe. It also educates students on its importance to Arizona and teaches them about Eli Whitney, who invited the cotton gin.

Other activities include tasting the various citrus crops and creating leather bracelets or bolo ties.

The learning continues outside the bus.

There’s a magnet game that teaches students about the state symbols. There’s also solar-powered cars that race each other and a machine to smash pennies.

Students take up to 2 hours to go through the work stations and engage in the activities outside the bus. All of the activities can be customized based on grade level. Teachers can also choose from 11 learning modules.

“We’ve had schools come to us to say, ‘Hey we’re teaching this right now. Would you mind adding this or could you work this in?’” Steve said.

The pricing starts at $9 per student. It goes up depending on what learning modules are selected. The couple said it was important to them to make this as affordable as possible.

Christine said she spent several years as a substitute teacher and noticed schools couldn’t afford field trips.

She said the cost to transport students was one of the biggest hurdles.

“We wanted to make this something that was affordable, easy for teachers to book, easy for them to plan, fits with their curriculum and gives the kids a fun but learning experience,” she said.

The couple launched Arizona Mobile Education last school year and visited eight schools. So far this school year, they are scheduled to visit 15 schools.

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Arizona Mobile Education providing affordable field trips for students