The Magic School Bus is the basis for a multimedia project for children headed by Scholastic. The Magic School Bus characters and stories appear in television shows, books, board games, and CD-ROM computer games, always with a lesson to be learned and an emphasis on fun and understanding. In the show and games, magic is used to demonstrate science and technology. Often, schoolmates Arnold, Phoebe, Carlos, Mikey, Wanda, and the other kids in Ms. Frizzle's class are shrunk or transformed, to help them see everyday science from a whole new perspective. Of course, having a Magic School Bus to take the class to all sorts of fantastic places helps to keep the learning fresh and interesting.
In this episode, the class boards The Magic School Bus for an ocean adventure. From the sandy beaches and shallow tidal pools to the expansive kelp forests, from lively coral reefs to deep hot-water vents on the ocean floor, Ms. Frizzle's class gets a first-hand look at the undersea world. Cinematic scenes and 3D objects help to illustrate important concepts. The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean features 12 different games, seven different experiments for kids to manipulate, and 21 reports to help bring the new ideas together in a useful way.
Scholastic's The Magic School Bus Explores the Ocean is the third game in the series based on the children's educational books by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen. In this adventure, Ms. Frizzle and her class are headed to the ocean on a mission to explore zones and answer three clues that will lead to a sunken treasure. Traveling by submarine bus, the group will make stops at the Coral Reef, the Open Ocean, the Deep Ocean, the Hot Vents, the Kelp Forest, and more. At each stop the player can access activities, reports and experiments related to that zone by clicking on items nearby. There are also a number of zone-themed minigames that utilize both the mouse and the arrow keys. Among them are: Crab Chase - the player must click to move a crab around on the beach and collect food while avoiding a predatory seagull. Ride the Tide - the player helps a fish swim through the tidal changes by moving with the arrow keys and jumping over rocks with the space bar. Kelp Clean-Up - collect and bag up garbage while avoiding sharks. Food Chain Game - a jigsaw puzzle featuring colorful diatoms. Lantern Fish Game - the player must help a lantern fish gulp down its prey while moving through the oceanThere are two ways to move around; from the inside of the bus the player can click on the steering wheel and the gearshift, and while outside the bus he is able to scroll from screen to screen by selecting the arrows or clicking the submarine cursor. Zones may be visited in any order. Once the player has collected enough clues and travels to the area where the treasure is buried, he will find a treasure scanner to uncover it, and the game is won.
This game is suggested for ages 6 - 10, and the educational focus is on scientific exploration and experimentation, rather than simple fact-finding.
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