CHANDLER — An East Valley couple has found a way to help schools save money by bringing field trips straight to the students.
Arizona Mobile Education parks right at the schools and provides hands-on activities and lessons for students K-6.
Christine and Steve Cohen from Chandler run the business. They came up with the idea after spending time in their kids' classrooms.
"Then I spent a lot of years substitute teaching. Being in the schools I felt like there's got to be a better way to give kids a hands on activities," said Cohen. "We're trying to give them an alternative to an expensive field trip and still make it fun, entertaining and educational."
The Cohens bought a used school bus and completely renovated the inside to create six learning stations. They're all about Arizona.
"We bring the activity here, we bring the supplies, we don't make a mess in the classroom. It's over and done with in two hours," said Christine Cohen. "We put vocabulary, we put science, we put math, we put everything into the learning modules."
Sean Kirkham is in third grade at Hancock Elementary School in Chandler. His class was among a few that got to learn from Arizona Mobile Education.
"I thought it was really awesome," said Kirkham. "I got to see malachite for the first time in my life. My favorite thing on the bus was the lemons and I really liked the rocks."
Outside, the team sets up another lesson. Teachers can choose from 11 options. At Hancock Elementary School, teachers chose to do an entire lesson on the state flag and its history.
Principal Connie Hull said Hancock Elementary usually spends about $25,000 a year on field trips. She said this option will save them money.
"It's about the cost of entry fees to other events except we save the costs of buses and time involved," said Hull. "The kids enjoy the variety and they enjoy having something come right to them."
The cost can change, but Cohen said it's usually between $9 to $11 per student.
"If you can spark one little ounce of question and learning or just anything to get them interested in learning, it's perfect," said Christine Cohen. "I tell them if you've learned one thing throughout our program, we've met our goal."
This is the second year in operation for Arizona Mobile Education. They have 14 school visits planned this year, and they hope to do more next school year.
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