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SuperStar Science CD
by New Media Schoolhouse

For Ages 8 - 12

See also the Summary Rating Table for comparisons of other Science Software titles.

Reviewed on:
PowerMac 6100/60 with 8MB and 2XCD-ROM, and
Performa 430 with 4MB and 2XCD-ROM

SuperStar Science CD covers the basics of physical science in a textbook fashion. Six subjects are covered: Solids, Liquids and Gases; Machines and Power; Force; Magnets; Electricity; or Earth, Moon and Space. Each is presented with pictures and a narrated text, and a variety of simple experiments. For example, resistance is demonstrated by dragging a log with a rope on different materials; friction is demonstrated with sandpaper. All of the experiments are simple and use materials that many users should find in their own homes. The program encourages the user to try these experiments at home. “My daughter enjoyed testing the experiments herself and was thrilled to find that they really worked,” noted a parent reviewer.

Ease of Install / Use
Installing SuperStar Science CD was simple and involved only a few clicks of the mouse. SuperKids' reviewers all noted that using it for the first time was easy and that most functions were obvious.

SuperStar Science CD explains the fundamentals of physical science in a way that is easy for kids (and parents) to understand. The experiments are interesting and help make science a hands-on activity, if the user performs the experiments on his or her own. If, however, your child merely reads the text as it is presented, “SuperStar Science CD has no more value than the books, charts, worksheets, etc. that we use already,” stated a teacher reviewer. “We are looking for more discovery-based, interactive materials.”

Upon completion of each segment, the users is give the option of taking a short multiple choice quiz. Correct answers are rewarded with a voice saying, "That is correct." Incorrect responses produce, "No, that is not the answer I am looking for." Unfortunately, the user gets only one shot at each question, and is not told why his/her answer is incorrect, nor what the correct answer is.

Proxy Parent Value
Kids will definitely be able to use SuperStar Science CD alone, "although they may think of it as homework because of the textbook presentation style" stated one parent. Unfortunately, this program did not hold the attention of our kids reviewers who were not already interested in science. And even for children interested in the subject, they may become bored with the program after relatively few uses, because -- in the words of one of our kids reviewers -- "there are no new discoveries to make."

Best for...
SuperStar Science CD is best for kids who like to learn from reading and are interested in science. The material is clearly presented and well explained, and may be useful for the child who wishes to learn about these subjects before the school is ready to introduce them. But according to our teacher reviewers, "this program will probably not spark a science interest in a kid who dislikes science [because] it does not require active participation in experiments."

SuperStar Science CD serves the same purpose as a textbook. Your child should learn the same material at school, and our teacher reviewers felt that this title offers little as a supplement to schoolwork.

SuperKids Rating: 3/5
See also the:
Summary Rating Table for Science Software

Children's Software System Requirements


Operating System System 6.0.7 (7.0.1) or later
CPU Type and Speed Macintosh
Hard Drive Space n/a
Memory (RAM) 2MB (4MB)
Graphics 256 color monitor
CD-ROM Speed 2x
Audio standard
Other Needs n/a

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