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spacer all reviews > > > science software

ConnecTricity Power Park

NSP Company

Ages 7 and up

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.3
Kid Appeal
3.5
Ease of Use
4.0

ConnecTricity Power Park Screen Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

ConnnecTricity Power Park takes students to an abandoned amusement park where, with the help of a surly dinosaur, T-Bones, and a gentle hawk, Aurora, they work to develop power sources to get the park running again.

Kids visit six different power plants, where they solve puzzles that inform how each plant produces power. In addition to teaching the basics about such power sources as hydro-electric, nuclear, coal, solar, wind, and natural gas, the program looks at the advantages and disadvantages of each, including availability, cost, and environmental impact. It also encourages kids to consider long-term costs of the various forms of energy. For example, their impact on wildlife (Aurora lost her husband Horace because of the use of DDT), air quality, the natural beauty of the land, noise pollution etc.

Throughout the program, kids are challenged to make important decisions about energy conservation, and rewarded with an energy score and special tokens that can be cashed in at the arcade. Here kids play energy-themed arcade games.

Educational Value
ConnnecTricity Power Park helps kids develop a rudimentary understanding of energy and power. It offers information in a variety of ways, through text, games, puzzles, and hands-on decision making.

Each power plant includes a basic puzzle which takes kids through the five main steps used to create that form of power. Kids place these steps in the appropriate order to power up the plant. Once this is accomplished, clicking on different items in the newly running power plant provides additional information about how the plant works.

Kid Appeal
Our testers were concerned about the targeted age-range for this program. They noted that while much of the information seems most appropriate for slightly older children (upper elementary to middle school age), the dinosaur and hawk characters are better suited to young students. Because of this, the program received only average scores for appeal. In addition, our reviewers noted that while they might enjoy using this program as part of a classroom curriculum, they would never choose to use it for at home enjoyment.

Ease of Use / Install
ConnecTricity Power Park runs from the CD-ROM. QuickTime is required and can be installed from the CD.

Program navigation is fairly simple, however it is, at times, difficult to know exactly what is expected of the user. T-Bones and Aurora attempt to guide the user via special screens that pop up from time to time, but their help is cryptic and leaves users uncertain about how to proceed.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
ConnnecTricity Power Park presents information about energy, energy conservation and the importance of preserving the environment, all the while making clear the association of the three. It works nicely as part of a classroom unit on energy and power sources.

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, Windows 95/98 and NT, 486/50 or faster cpu, 16 MB RAM, 640 x 480 resolution, 256 color mode (thousands of colors recommended), Double speed or faster CD-ROM, SoundBlaster (or compatible) audio card, QuickTime® 2.X (included on the CD).

Mac: System 7.1 or later, 33 MHz or faster cpu, 15 MB RAM, 640 x 480 resolution, Double speed or faster CD-ROM, Sound Manager 3.X or newer.

Reviewed on:

  • Pentium266 with 24MB and 12XCD
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