Microsoft Asks Kids to Imagine “What the Coolest Computer Could Do”

REDMOND, WASH., MARCH 14, 1996 — Imagine a computer that could baby-sit younger siblings or recreate extinct animals and plants. Or, what about a computer that could interpret sound for the hearing-impaired? Hard to imagine? Not for some of the winners of Microsoft’s
“Imagine the Magic”
contest last year — and those creative responses won them a trip to Microsoft’s world headquarters.

Today, Microsoft launches its second annual
“Imagine the Magic”
contest and is, once again, asking kids ages 6-11 to turn on their imagination and describe
“what the coolest computer could do.”

The contest, co-sponsored by Cartoon Network and , invites children to create their entries in any way — write, draw, cut or paste — as long as they explain what would be really
for a computer to do. The six kids with the most imaginative answers will win an all-expense-paid trip with a parent or guardian to the second Kids’ Technology Summit on June 17 at Microsoft’s world headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where they’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Microsoft magic. These six imaginative minds will also get to attend a special closed-door session with Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft.

“We were thrilled that last year’s inaugural contest drew more than 18,000 entries and we expect to exceed that this year,”
says Charlotte Guyman, general manager for the kids and entertainment business unit in Microsoft’s Interactive Media Division.

In addition to the trip to Microsoft, the six grand prize winners receive a Gateway Destination Multimedia System, a Microsoft®
software library, a limited-edition animation cel from the new
“Dexter’s Laboratory”
cartoon series on Cartoon Network and the chance to appear on Cartoon Network’s
“Toon World News”
segment and in a special Microsoft page in the September issue of . Scholastic, the contest’s education co-sponsor, will also feature the winners and their schools in two of its publications, and magazines. The grand prize winners’ schools also receive a Microsoft software library and Gateway Destination Multimedia System, which merges the impact of big screen television with the power of a Pentium®

Fifty semi-finalists and their schools receive select Microsoft software and all contest entrants receive an official Microsoft
“Imagination Navigation”
certificate signed by Bill Gates.

Kids can look in the April issue of or watch promotional spots for the new
“Dexter’s Laboratory”
cartoon series on Cartoon Network to get additional contest details. The contest’s six grand prize winners will be filmed at the Kids’ Technology Summit in Redmond and featured on a Cartoon Network
“Toon World News”

Microsoft has teamed up with two Scholastic publications, and , to add an in-school component to
“Imagine the Magic.”
Teachers who wish to encourage their

classes to participate in the contest can consult the March or April issues of these publications for contest information and entry forms, or check out the
“Imagine the Magic”
web site at for complete lesson plans.

Kids can enter
“Imagine the Magic”
online at or mail their entries to
“Imagine the Magic”
Contest, P.O. Box 39105, Chicago, IL, 60639. Entries must be received by May 15, 1996, and winners will be announced on or before June 7, 1996.

Cartoon Network is Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.’s 24-hour, basic cable service offering the best in animated entertainment from the world’s largest cartoon library and unique original ventures such as
“The Moxy Show,” “Space Ghost Coast to Coast,”
and WORLD PREMIERE TOONS. Since its U.S. launch in 1992, Cartoon Network has remained one of basic cable’s highest-rated networks.

is the first sports magazine written for kids ages 8 and up, and emphasizes sports kids love to play and the athletes they love to watch. The magazine promotes positive values, good sportsmanship and the joy of reading and includes a variety of games, puzzles, collectibles and other features. Created in 1989, has won 19 Educational Press Association awards and several Parents’ Choice awards.

, published by Scholastic Inc., is the premier professional magazine for America’s elementary school teachers — providing them with fresh ideas and innovative advice since 1891.

is the leading resource for American educators on technology and its power to transform teaching and learning. has been published by Scholastic Inc. since the dawn of educational computing in 1980.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing everyday.

Editor’s note: A free copy of the
“Imagine the Magic”
logo to accompany this story is available to media with electronic darkrooms by calling Wieck Photo Database at 214/392-0888.

  • Written entries must be 50 words or less.

  • Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

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