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

Children Soar Into the Clouds and Dive Into the Sea With Scholastic's

The Magic School Bus Discovers Flight and The Magic School Bus

Whales & Dolphins Activity Centers



Apr 17, 2001, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. (Nasdaq:   MSFT) and Scholastic Entertainment Inc. offer
 children two new software titles full of fun and adventure:  Scholastic's The
 Magic School Bus(R) Whales & Dolphins Activity Center and Scholastic's The
 Magic School Bus(R) 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.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     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(TM) 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
 "porpoisely" 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(1) of
 $19.95. To learn more about Scholastic's The Magic School Bus CD-ROM series,
 parents and kids can visit http://www.microsoft.com/kids/. More information on
 Scholastic's The Magic School Bus can be found at
 http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/.
 
     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(TM),
 the award-winning animated series (PBS KIDS(TM)); Scholastic's The Magic
 School Bus(R), 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(R), the live-action kids adventure series (Nickelodeon);
 Goosebumps(R), the award-winning, top-rated children's TV series (Fox Family);
 and critically acclaimed feature films The Baby-Sitters Club(R), The Indian in
 the Cupboard and The Mighty. For more information, visit Scholastic's Web site
 at http://www.scholastic.com/, winner of the Webby 2000 award for best kids
 Web site.
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.
     NOTE:  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.
 
     (1) Reseller prices may vary/
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
    REDMOND, Wash., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- 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. (Nasdaq:   MSFT) and Scholastic Entertainment Inc. offer
 children two new software titles full of fun and adventure:  Scholastic's The
 Magic School Bus(R) Whales & Dolphins Activity Center and Scholastic's The
 Magic School Bus(R) 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.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     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(TM) 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
 "porpoisely" 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(1) of
 $19.95. To learn more about Scholastic's The Magic School Bus CD-ROM series,
 parents and kids can visit http://www.microsoft.com/kids/. More information on
 Scholastic's The Magic School Bus can be found at
 http://www.scholastic.com/magicschoolbus/.
 
     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(TM),
 the award-winning animated series (PBS KIDS(TM)); Scholastic's The Magic
 School Bus(R), 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(R), the live-action kids adventure series (Nickelodeon);
 Goosebumps(R), the award-winning, top-rated children's TV series (Fox Family);
 and critically acclaimed feature films The Baby-Sitters Club(R), The Indian in
 the Cupboard and The Mighty. For more information, visit Scholastic's Web site
 at http://www.scholastic.com/, winner of the Webby 2000 award for best kids
 Web site.
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft 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.
     NOTE:  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.
 
     (1) Reseller prices may vary/
 
 SOURCE  Microsoft Corp.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.microsoft.com