Most educators are familiar with the adventures of Ms. Frizzle’s Magic School Bus and the incredible journeys students take while riding it to explore the solar system, inside the earth, and even inside the human body.

The students at Calvin Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. have a “magic school bus” of their own, but this one is tasked with a different kind of journey—one that will make attending college a reality.

Every Wednesday, the Verizon Wireless Mobile Learning Lab—dubbed the magic school by students—rolls into the school parking lot. Instead of being adorned with that distinctive school-bus yellow, however, it’s wrapped in bold graphics showing enthusiastic students using wireless devices to reflect what actually goes on inside this unique vehicle.

The retrofitted school bus is equipped with its own generator, air-conditioner and wireless 4G internet connectivity. And it also comes with tutors from nearby Howard University who pair up with students at individual workstations to use the latest tablets to work through the arduous college essay process.

(Next page: How the bus works; video)