February 2002

Cyber News and Reviews is a monthly column published for parents, teachers & business owners featuring kids educational software reviews, business software reviews (small business & home business), games and entertainment articles, a free resource since 1995.


Newton's Quest 6th Grade from Knowledge Adventure

Newton's Quest is the latest educational work of art from Knowledge Adventure, for kids in grades 4th through 6th (ages 9-12) covering a full year's curriculum in reading comprehension, spelling and language arts.  It's designed to follow the standard testing objectives of the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT) and the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), but with one difference: it includes hands-on interactive simulations and tools to help simulate kids curiosity about science, space, nature, geography, music and art.  The designers at Knowledge Adventure incorporate a unique 3-D graphics environment, with 360-degree views as you move through several areas of Newton's world.  The software is supplied on 2 CDs offering excellent graphics and sound, guaranteed to capture any student's attention. 

After a quick installation from CD 1, and a trip through space, into our solar system and then down to Earth, you'll find yourself on the deck of the Newton's Spaceship (he's the alien who just flew in from space parts unknown).  There, you'll teleport into the Greeting Hall to meet Newton and pick your avatar, a representation of you, with all your likes and dislikes, so you can begin your educational exploration.

CD 1: Newton's Spaceship

This CD is offers 3 main areas: The Greeting Hall, Newton's Room and Your Own Room.  In Newton's Room you'll find all five learning areas: The Observatory, The Workshop, The Nature Corner, The Music Studio and The Reading Corner, including some fun games and cool scientific simulations to keep any kid glued to the computer for hours of learning.  The games are used as rewards for completing the various educational activities in and around Newton's Spaceship.

CD 2: The Learning Space Stations

This CD is dedicated to standardized testing.  It offers 2 areas: The Learning Capsule and the Activity Capsule.  Kids will blast off to The Learning Space Stations when they're ready for mathematics and language arts activities and some testing, accessed from the main menu on CD 1.  The Learning Capsule presents a five-step learning method starting with warm up activities, then lessons, some practice problems, advanced problems and, finally, testing.  The Activity Capsule offers interactive gaming including some mental math memory games plus geometry and language exercises.

Sarah, my 10-year-old daughter, found Newton's Quest: 6th Grade a challenge since she's in the midst of 5th grade.  However, she'll be starting middle school and the 6th grade this August 2002.  Sarah actually said, "It's a cool program."  She found the Workshop in Newton's Room (on CD 1) the most fun with its animations and scientific experiments.  It includes the Medical Checkup, where you see the effects on people (and their organs) from stress or pollution.  Other experiments include The Effects of Heat on Molecules, A Few Effects Caused by Changes in Temperature and The Three States of Matter.

The strength of Newton's Quest is not only its rich educational content, but in its great graphics and interactive interface allowing kids to learn in a, fun, 3-D environment.

Newton's Quest: 4th, 5th and 6th Grade sell for $29.99 and will run on any multimedia PC, Pentium II, 266 MHz or faster, 64 MB RAM with Windows 95/98/ME/2000 and a 12x CD-ROM drive. 

Howard Berenbon

Software Companies Mentioned

Knowledge Adventure, Inc.
19840 Pioneer Avenue
Torrance, CA 90503
Phone: 1-800-545-7677
URL: education.com