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spacer all reviews > > > science software

Magic School Bus Discovers Flight Activity Center

Scholastic/Microsoft

Ages 6 to 10

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
4.0
Kid Appeal
4.0
Ease of Use
5.0

Magic School Bus Discovers Flight Screen Shot arrow indentSystem Requirements

arrow indentPC / Mac Price Survey

arrow indentProduct Support

Ms. Frizzle and her class set out on the Magic School Bus once again, this time to learn the mysteries of flight. In this activity center program, the user becomes a member of the class, and has the opportunity to click and explore her way inside and outside the bus.

Educational Value

Like the other programs in this series, including Animals, Bugs, The Earth, and Mars, Magic School Bus Explores Flight is an exploration and discovery program, with no linear path or storyline to follow. Instead, young users are encouraged to click and explore their way through the program.

Inside and outside the bus, young students will find videos (vultures landing, hang gliders, shuttle liftoffs), special reports on the four forces of flight (thrust, lift, drag, gravity), opportunities to design their own planes and simulate their flights, and an assortment of factoids on various aspects of flight.

Kid Appeal

In addition to these items of passing interest to most young children, are a number of games and puzzles, of the family-oriented arcade genre, rather than the first-person shooter games popular on console devices. Solve a jigsaw puzzle, and be rewarded with a flight fact; decorate a printable, foldable paper airplane; rescue passengers with a hot-air balloon, or put out forest fires from the air. Our young testers found these reasonably captivating, and worthy of more than a few return engagements.

Ease of Use / Install

Magic School Bus Explores Flight installed without difficulty in our Windows 98 and Windows ME test machines. Program navigation and usage is intutitive.

Best for... / Bottom-Line

Magic School Bus Explores Flight provides a very rudimentary introduction to flight for young children. The characters, setting, and tunes are all familiar, and will be well received. The educational content is squarely aimed at the middle to low-end of the recommended age range.

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 95/98/ME/2000, Pentium 166 or faster cpu, 15 MB hard drive space, 16 MB RAM, SVGA 256 color display, 4X or faster CD-ROM, INSERT sound card, 16-bit sound card.

Mac: MacOS 8.1 or later, PowerPC 233 MHz or faster cpu, 15 MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM (64 MB for OS 9 or later), 256-color display, 4X or faster CD-ROM, headphones or speakers, optional: printer.

Reviewed on:
-     Pentium II - 450 running Windows 98, with 128MB RAM and 24x - CD-ROM
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