Microsoft and Scholastic Entertainment Heat Up the Summer With a Mountain of Volcanic Facts

REDMOND, Wash., July 31, 2001 — Volcanoes have intrigued people of all ages for many years. And while the volatile Mayon Volcano near Legazpi, Philippines, continues to be a threat, on the other side of the world picturesque Mount Rainier in Seattle has been dormant for more than 150 years. Dormant and active volcanoes have many different elements, and now children ages 6 to 10 can learn about these and other volcanoes through Microsoft Corp.’s newest science software, Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® Volcano Adventure Activity Center. The software encourages kids to scale a mountain of intriguing information about volcanoes on land, under water and in space.

In a fun, interactive way, children journey through games, experiments, trivia and creative activities, all designed to help them learn. They will discover that with the right mix of ingredients, a dormant volcano can blow its top. Or they can read about the Ring of Fire, a fault line where all the world’s earthquakes and volcanoes are found, including Mount Kilamanjaro, Mount St. Helens and Mount Fuji.

“Through science experiments, videos, photos and a variety of facts and figures, children will have so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning,”
said Jaynie Degnan, product manager of the Learning Division at Microsoft.
“Ms. Frizzle™ , Liz and the rest of the class from Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus will lead them on a new and exciting science adventure.”

“Through our continued relationship with Microsoft, we hope to provide science learning to children in a fun, engaging and easy-to-understand way,”
said Leslye Schaefer, senior vice president of marketing at Scholastic.
“Our goal is to instill an interest in science at a young age.”

An Eruption of Fun

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus Volcano Adventure Activity Center transforms
Ms. Frizzle’s magic bus into a helicopter that hovers above volcanoes to reveal interesting tidbits of information. Children can learn that a newly formed island near Iceland, named Surtsey, was actually created by a volcano that raged for more than two years. Or they may find that although destructive, volcanoes also provide fertile soils and valuable mineral deposits, such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver, as well as geothermal energy. Ms. Frizzle describes the exciting job of a volcanologist and how they can actually predict when a volcano will blow by using scientific tools, such as the tiltmeter. This device measures the size of a growing volcanic mountain, while a seismograph measures the quick movements of the earth beneath the mountain, a telltale sign of an upcoming eruption.

At the back of the bus, in the Volcano Observation Station, children can race against the clock in Rub A Dub Sub, a game in which they navigate their sub toward the volcano research ship while avoiding red lava, black smokers and underwater chimneys. In Volcanic Videos, they can click to see amazing photos of real-life volcanoes, including rivers of magma and molten lava, as well as underwater chimneys that blow black ash into the ocean. By clicking on the globe in the bus, young scientists can create their own volcano with the Make Your Own Volcano activity, which lets them experiment with different types of magma, gas and pressure, creating a different eruption each time.

Continuing a Long-Standing Learning Tradition

Since 1993, Microsoft and Scholastic have teamed up to create the 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.

Pricing, Availability and System Requirements

Scholastic’s The Magic School Bus® Volcano Adventure Activity Center, made for the PC and Apple Macintosh, is 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”
“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.

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