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Software Review - Science Genius: Virtual Laboratory - Mindscape/Focus
An attractively priced piece of software aimed at making basic science more fun for Key Stage 2 (8 to 11-year-olds) in the UK. The idea is simple but effective - put across some basic science points in interactive onscreen experiments, 100 of them in all. This includes everything from how to separate salt and sand to how to blow up a balloon without blowing. You can also print off "hands-on-experiment" sheets to do many of the experiments for real.
The look, as suggested by the cover, is colourful and features chunky animations, which are quite effective if not up to modern video game standard.
There is no doubt that this software does its job effectively - the only thing I wonder is how entertaining it really is in the home. It might work better in the classroom - but if you've the patience, it may well give your little ones that extra scientific nudge, and certainly supports the national curriculum. It's possible that the companion Solar System Explorer CD-ROM might have more appeal at home than this one, though it depends on the individual's interests.
Windows Me/2000/XP/x64 only.
Reviewed by Brian Clegg
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Last update 05 June 2007