Microsoft and Scholastic Introduce Children to the Wonders of Whales And the Fun of Flying With New Activity-Based Software

REDMOND, Wash., April 17, 2001 — What sea animal’s weight is equal to that of 143 cats? What famous flight traveled only as many feet as the wingspan of a 747 jet? These are interesting questions one may not generally ask, but fun questions for the inquisitive mind of a child. Microsoft Corp. and Scholastic Entertainment Inc. offer children two new software titles full of fun and adventure: Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus ® Whales & Dolphins Activity Center and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® Discovers Flight Activity Center. With this new science software, children (and their parents, too) can now find the answers to interesting questions like these and more.

Through these new software titles, Microsoft and Scholastic are bringing the sea and the air to life for children in a fun, interactive and educational way. Children can learn basic elements of flight or explore a sea of information on ocean mammals while being guided through the software’s variety of games, trivia and creative activities. For example, children will learn that one bottle-nosed dolphin weighs as much as 143 cats and that the wingspan of a 747 is longer than the footage of Wright Brothers’ entire first flight.

“The two new software titles encourage children ages 6 to 10 to learn and enjoy science concepts,”
said Jaynie Degnan, product manager of the Learning Division at Microsoft.
“Children will enjoy learning alongside the well-known and beloved characters like Ms. Frizzle™ and Liz the Lizard as they swim and fly through the activities and games.”

Whale of a Time

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Whales & Dolphins Activity Center transforms Ms. Frizzle’s magic bus into a research vessel and submerges children in a magical adventure under the sea. Children will dine with dolphins, whales and eight other sea mammals at the Whale-a-teria to learn what these fascinating creatures love to eat. Or children can engage themselves with Spout Off , hosted by the lovable Petey the Porpoise. Petey
adds humor to learning as he quizzes players on a variety of facts, including why a family of whales is called a pod or how long whales can hold their breath underwater. Children will look through a different set of eyes with the Periscope Whale Viewer as they compare the similarities and differences of 10 whales and dolphins.

Free Flight

On the flight deck, aspiring pilots head to the sky in Ms. Frizzle’s magical flying blimp. With Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Discovers Flight Activity Center, children discover the science of flight through propeller planes, kites, hot-air balloons, supersonic jets and hang gliders. Young firefighters will be in the pilot’s seat with Blaze Blasters as they fly overhead to extinguish forest fires while avoiding obstacles such as mountains, towers and cliffs. Children will drift up, up and away with Float-a-Rama as they navigate a hot-air balloon through heavy air traffic while learning the concepts of gravity, drag and thrust. In Flight is Right , the hip and fun Amelia Airhead quizzes children about birds, airplanes and spacecraft. She’ll even teach them that supersonic jets fly at 760 miles per hour.

Upcoming Volcanic Eruption

As if the sea and air weren’t enough, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Volcanoes Activity Center will be erupting in August 2001. It will be similar to previous activity centers, in that children will learn about the science of volcanoes through interactive games and activities.

Continuing a Long-Standing Learning Tradition

Since 1993, Microsoft and Scholastic have teamed up to create Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus software series. Based on the Emmy Award-winning television show and the successful children’s science book series, 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. Over the past nine years, the software has won such prestigious awards as the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval and the ComputED Learning Center Education Software Review Awards.

“We value the long-standing relationship with Microsoft and developing fun and educational software based on our well-known and loved Magic School Bus television series and books,”
said Leslye Shafer, senior vice president of marketing at Scholastic.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Discovers Flight and Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Whales & Dolphins, 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 visit . More information on Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus can be found at .

About Scholastic

Scholastic Entertainment Inc. (SEI) is the entertainment and media division of Scholastic Inc., the global children’s publishing and media company. Scholastic Entertainment is a leading producer of quality, family-oriented television programming, feature films, videos and Web sites, and a major licenser and marketer of children’s properties worldwide. Scholastic Entertainment produces Scholastic’s Clifford The Big Red Dog, the award-winning animated series (PBS KIDS™ ); Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® , top-rated Emmy and Annenberg award-winning series starring Lily Tomlin (Fox Kids); the award-winning Dear America and The Royal Diaries series (HBO); Animorphs® , the live-action kids adventure series (Nickelodeon); Goosebumps® , the award-winning, top-rated children’s TV series (Fox Family); and critically acclaimed feature films The Baby-Sitters Club® , The Indian in the Cupboard and The Mighty . For more information, visit Scholastic’s Web site at , winner of the Webby 2000 award for best kids Web site.

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.

*Reseller prices may vary

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

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.
Apple, Mac and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer Inc.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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