Microsoft and The Magic School Bus Take Kids on a Wild Ride Into the World of Animals

LOS ANGELES, April 29, 1999 — Today at the Los Angeles Zoo, 50 third-grade students from the Allesandro Elementary School watched science come to life in more ways than one as Microsoft and Scholastic Entertainment launched the seventh CD-ROM in their award-winning series of educational software for children. Alex Linz, the 10-year-old star of films such as One Fine Day and Disney’s upcoming Tarzan, also was on hand for the debut of “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus
Explores the World of Animals,” which takes kids on a virtual safari into the animal kingdom.

“The earlier we begin teaching children about the wonders science has to offer through interaction with their environment, animals and technology, the more we encourage them to develop a love of scientific exploration and discovery throughout their lives,” said Pam Meisner, educator for the San Diego Natural History Museum. “The engaging science reports, habitat exploration and hunts for lost animals featured in the latest CD-ROM provide the perfect adventure for budding scientists.”

Based on the best-selling “Magic School Bus” book series and hit television show produced by Scholastic Entertainment Inc., the latest adventure takes kids on a fascinating multimedia field trip to animal habitats around the globe in the company of science teacher extraordinaire Ms. Frizzle and her inquisitive class. Children can choose from 30 different games and activities, learn scientific concepts, view multimedia science reports, and explore seven different animal habitats from the African savannah to the Arctic tundra. The new software title also contains a wealth of fun facts: Do you know that a lion’s roar can be heard five miles away, or that the toucan is a cousin of the woodpecker? Meanwhile, Ms. Frizzle and her students are always on hand to provide help and advice if needed.

“Besides celebrating children’s special relationships with animals, today’s event spotlights how ‘Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals’ uses rich, age-appropriate content to make science fun and exciting,” said Jaynie Miller, kids product manager at Microsoft. “Our goal is to encourage girls and boys to carry their interest in science and technology away from the PC into their everyday lives.”

In conjunction with today’s launch, Microsoft donated 500 copies of a combination of “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus” software titles to the Los Angeles Zoo for use in its educational outreach programs to schools and other educational groups. Titles included “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Animals,” “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest” and “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean.”

In 1997, “Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus” software was ranked number one as “used most often” by teachers and students in support of science curriculum, according to Education Market Research. The software series also has received several other prestigious awards, including the Codie Award for Best Elementary Educational titles from the Software & Information Industry Association and the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval.

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