Microsoft Introduces New Software for Kids: Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Lands on Mars And Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus in Concert Activity Centers

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 12, 2000 — Five, four, three, two, one, blastoff! Kids will want to hold on tight, as Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® takes them out of this world with Microsoft® Corp.’s new Activity Center Series software. Now, youngsters don’t need to be NASA astronauts to take a rocket to Mars or MTV VJs to get a backstage pass to an exciting concert.

Microsoft today introduced two new activity-based software titles, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Lands on Mars and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus in Concert for kids ages 6-10. These titles, the first in Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Activity Center Series, promote learning through play-based activities by introducing young minds to the marvels of space exploration and the wonders of acoustics, music and sound.

The new Mars Activity Center title is being introduced as interest in exploring the red planet is at an all-time high, especially among young people. In Concert was chosen as an Activity Center topic because kids are naturally fascinated with music and interesting sounds and are beginning to study these topics in school.

Building on Success With the New Activity Center Series

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus CD-ROM series is based on Scholastic Entertainment Inc.’s Emmy award-winning television show and the successful children’s science book series. Like the TV show and books, the award-winning software titles feature science teacher extraordinaire, Ms. Frizzle™ , and her inquisitive students, who take virtual field trips around the world on a magical school bus.

For the past seven years, Microsoft and Scholastic have worked together to release 10 Magic School Bus-themed software titles that focus on topics such as the ocean, dinosaurs, animals and insects. Since 1993, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus software has won prestigious awards such as the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and the ComputED Learning Center Education Software Review Awards. Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus CD-ROM series is designed to educate young children about science concepts by using interactive games and activities, experiments and tips.

“We’ve spent a great deal of time developing each software title, asking parents, teachers and, most important, kids about what they want in a product,” said Jaynie Degnan, product manager for Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus software series at Microsoft® .
“Recent research revealed that kids who use Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus software prefer interactive games and engaging activities.”
Using this valuable feedback, Microsoft developed the new activity-based titles to complement the already successful software series. The new series provides the activities kids love most while maintaining the educational value parents and teachers want.

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Activity Center CD-ROMs balance educational value with entertainment appeal by introducing fun science concepts through multilevel games, stimulating activities, well-loved characters, clickable animations and information bites that make kids want to keep playing and learning.

“Scholastic and Microsoft continue to seek out ways to provide children with high-quality, age-appropriate materials to help them learn, grow and have fun,”
said Leslye Schaefer, senior vice president of marketing, Scholastic Entertainment.
“The goal of the new Activity Center Series is to provide kids with an interactive way to make learning science fun and exciting with the help of characters they’ve come to know and love.”

Message From Mars

Ms. Frizzle and her crew go on an out-of-this-world adventure, investigating the surface of the red planet. Throughout the mission, kids learn fascinating facts about Mars, construct a Mars Rover and create personal postcards of their journey using real NASA photos of Mars and stamps of Ms. Frizzle, Liz the Lizard and other popular characters.

Music to Your Ears

Kids jam with Ms. Frizzle in Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus in Concert Activity Center. On stage, kids learn facts about musical instruments, create fun and outrageous sound mixes, design a stage pass and participate in zany experiments. They also learn about topics such as the effect an environment has on acoustics and how the human ear translates the sounds people hear.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Lands on Mars and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus in Concert, made for the PC and Apple Macintosh, are available now from retailers nationwide for an estimated retail price of $19.95. To learn more about Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus CD-ROM series, parents and kids can refer to . Volume discounts may apply for schools and libraries. Details are available at . More information on Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus can be found at .

About Scholastic

Scholastic Entertainment (SEI) is a leading producer of quality, family-oriented television programming, feature films and videos, and a major licensor and marketer of children’s properties worldwide. Scholastic Entertainment produces Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus, the top-rated, Emmy and Annenberg award-winning television series starring Lily Tomlin (Fox Kids); Dear America™ , the critically acclaimed series on HBO; Goosebumps® , the top-rated, award-winning children’s television show (Fox Kids); the live-action series Animorphs Ò(Nickelodeon® ); Scholastic’s Clifford The Big Red Dog™ (PBS KIDS™
); and the critically acclaimed feature films,
“The Baby-Sitters Club,” “The Indian in the Cupboard”
“The Mighty.”

SEI is the entertainment and media division of Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing and media company that creates and distributes innovative and high-quality educational materials for use in school – children’s books, textbooks, magazines, technology and teaching materials – and engaging and appropriate products for use at home – magazines, software, television programming, videos and toys. More information is available at Scholastic’s Web site at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

Scholastic, The Magic School Bus, Ms. Frizzle, Animorphs and
“The Baby-Sitters Club”
are trademarks of Scholastic Inc.

Clifford the Big Red Dog is a trademark of Norman Bridwell.

Goosebumps is a trademark of Parachute Press Inc.

PBS KIDS wordmark TM PBS, used with permission.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts