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 FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Get out the blueprints and start building: The Learning Co. (NASDAQ: LRNG) today introduced "Gizmos & Gadgets!," the latest in its "Super Solvers" educational software series and the first that allows children, ages 7 to 12, to explore the fundamentals of physical science principles. "Gizmos & Gadgets!" has a suggested retail price of $59.95 and runs on IBM PCs and compatibles.
 "Gizmos & Gadgets!" provides children with the computer equivalent of a science museum, complete with a wide variety of interactive activities. "Educators have become increasingly aware that scientific literacy is a vital skill for children as they prepare for their lives in the 21st century," said Bill Dinsmore, president and chief executive officer of The Learning Co. "Our aim has been to create an environment where children are free to explore -- without being penalized for time spent or unsuccessful attempts. We believe that this approach fosters the spirit of experimentation and playfulness that is at the heart of scientific discovery. The overwhelming positive reaction of kids to the puzzles and simulations supports this belief."
 "Gizmos & Gadgets!" opens with Morty Maxwell, the Master of Mischief, having installed himself as Head Scientist of the Shady Glen Technology Center. To get rid of him, Super Solvers must defeat Morty in 15 races using a variety of automotive, aircraft and alternative energy vehicles.
 Players assemble their own vehicles -- everything from blimps to gas- powered racing cars and solar-powered autos -- using parts scattered throughout the warehouses. Morty has locked most of the vehicle parts behind doors, which children can unlock by solving interactive science puzzles. Some parts are better than others, and the invaluable blueprints will guide players to the fastest engine and most aerodynamic fuselage.
 Each of the over 200 highly interactive puzzles and simulations covers a major area of physical science including simple machines, gears, electricity, magnetism, balance, force and energy sources. The puzzles provide hands-on experience and immediate visual feedback, with magnets, gears, scales and electrical circuits behaving on screen much the way they do in real life. The screen depicting each puzzle is a kind of experimental laboratory, providing work areas, tools and components as well as a place where unexpected results lead to a better understanding of the natural world. Written puzzle hints further describe the concepts depicted and encourage children to work through the puzzle using the information provided.
 With no clocks ticking or penalties for wrong answers, children can take the time to reason through activities, experiment and learn from their mistakes. The difficulty of the puzzles automatically increases as they master the concepts being presented. Each puzzle type adjusts independently of the others, so a child can advance in some areas while continuing to practice in others.
 The program is fully compatible with IBM PC & compatibles; 80286 or better; requires DOS 3.3 or greater; 10 MHz; 640K memory; hard disk, 256- color VGA; and mouse. It runs from Windows 3.1 or DOS and supports Sound Blaster and compatible sound cards.
 A leader in children's educational software, The Learning Co. produces an award-winning series of programs, uniquely designed by a team of experts to enhance lifelong learning and communication skills. The company is located at 6493 Kaiser Drive, Fremont, Calif. 94555. Telephone: 510-792-2101 (main number) or 800-852-2255 (Customer Service/Tech Support).
 -0- 10/29/93
 /CONTACT: Sharyn A. Fitzpatrick of The Learning Co., 510-713-6011, direct, or 800-852-2255, ext. 5/

CO: The Learning Company ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT

LW-TM -- SJ002 -- 8378 10/29/93 09:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1993

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