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spacer all reviews > > > science software

Microbe Zoo

Peregrine Publishers

Ages 11 to 15

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
3.5
Kid Appeal
2.5
Ease of Use
4.5

Microbe Zoo Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

Part of a science education project called ‘The Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology’ at Michigan State University, Microbe Zoo takes an in-depth look at the world of microbiology and microbial ecology. It features a zoo-like environment where the user can view and learn about microbes in their native habitats. Also included are a glossary, a Lab Book filled with interesting facts, photos, and animated illustrations, and a "Specimen Database Computer" that allows the user to search for a particular type of microbe based on its characteristics.

Educational Value
Although a bit unprofessional in appearance, Microbe Zoo is well-organized and easily navigated. Its content, however, was unfavorably received by SuperKids’ parent/child and teacher reviewers. While some sections are overly technical for the novice microbiologist, mentioning such concepts as ‘carbon fixation’ and ‘settling’ without further explanation, other sections are simplistic and provide little actual information. The creators seem confused about their target audience, resulting in a program that is frustrating for older students and confusing for younger learners.

Kid Appeal
Despite absorbing some fascinating facts, our reviewers found Microbe Zoo to be totally unengaging and were not inclined to revisit it in the future.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
Unless you’re a microbiology fanatic, or looking for an upper grade-school teaching tool, this program doesn’t belong on your shopping list.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Science software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of the PC and Mac versions.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 3.1 or Win95, 486/50 or faster or faster cpu, 12 MB RAM, 256 color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM, sound card, QuickTime 2.1 (included)

Mac: System 7.5 or higher, 68040 or PowerPC, 8 MB free RAM, 256 color display, 2X or faster CD-ROM QuickTime 2.5 (included)

Reviewed on:

  • PowerMac 6400/200 with 32MB and 8XCD
  • Pentium166 with 24MB and 12XCD
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