“Think Like a King” School Chess Software System

Created by Food for Thought Software, the “Think Like a King” series provides all the management, motivational, and teaching tools you need to run a comprehensive chess program in your schools.

“Your First Lessons in Chess” combines in-depth descriptions with animated, interactive graphics to teach beginning players the basics of the game. Students can watch pieces move as the lesson unfolds or move the pieces themselves as they try to solve various puzzles and challenges.

“Chess Workouts” are tutorials that pick up where “Your First Lessons” leaves off. They provide a core curriculum that develops chess strategies and tactical thinking skills.

“Chess Club Manager” is a multifaceted tool that allows you to build a successful chess program easily. It features applications to help you maintain club rosters and mailing lists, record outcomes of games, and instantly calculate score changes and rankings after each game played.

The “Think Like a King” series was developed by public school teacher David MacEnulty, whose South Bronx elementary school chess teams have won national recognition.

“Your First Lessons” and “Chess Club manager” are available for Macintosh only at this time, but Windows versions will be ready late this fall. “Chess Workouts” is available for Mac or PC. (847) 433-6515 http://www.schoolchess.com

Microsoft Encarta Africana

This multimedia encyclopedia is an ambitious and comprehensive resource on the history, geography, and culture of Africa and people of African descent. “Africana” tells the story of Africa and its people through a rich collection of images, video, music, and text.

The software’s content is provided by a distinguished team of scholars led by Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University, along with his colleague, Dr. Kwame Anthony Appiah.

An expansion to the Microsoft Encarta line, “Africana” realizes W. E .B. DuBois’ dream of an ‘encyclopedia Africana’ chronicling the history of the African people.

“Africana” will be available for Windows 95 in January 1999 and will retail for $49.95. A school site license will also be available. (800) 426-9400 http://encarta.msn.com

Scientific American Library: Illusion

This CD-ROM from Byron Preiss Multimedia explores how we see the world around us: how space, color, light, motion, and form affect what our eyes see, and how illusion and distortion also shape what we perceive.

The program brings to life two Scientific American Library Books, Perception by Irvin Rock and Eye, Brain and Vision by David H. Hubel, with animated, interactive illustrations and games that let students explore illusions first-hand.

Interviews with experts in the field, such as a psychologist who explains how the blind can learn to draw, also help reveal the inner workings of our eyes.

“Scientific American Library: Illusion” is available for Windows 95 or Macintosh (System 7.0 or higher) for $29.95. (800) 945-3155 http://www.byronpreiss.com

Library of Congress: Eyes of the Nation

“Eyes of the Nation,” a CD-ROM from SouthPeak Interactive, details the unique American experience through music, photographs, posters, manuscripts, movie clips, and more.

Over 3,000 images of primary historical importance are combined with access to hundreds of thousands of additional images from the Library of Congress (LOC) web site. The images and text tell the story of America’s most famous characters, dramatic moments, and inspired inventions.

“Eyes of the Nation” was produced by LOC in conjunction with renowned photo editor Vincent Virga. The CD-ROM will be released this fall in association with The History Channel. (800) 774-6183 http://www.southpeak.com

Thinkin’ Science Series: ZAP!

This CD-ROM from Edmark Corporation lets students explore light, color, sound, and electricity in the context of a computer simulation.

Students are challenged to repair the wiring, laser lights, and sound system of a virtual concert hall zapped by lightning. The program helps students set up and test experiments to learn and apply principals of science to the task.

In an electricity lab, for example, students learn to construct simple circuits by adding and cutting wires and attaching bulbs, fans, and belts. The exercises cover basic electrical concepts like current, voltage, resistance, and parallel circuits.

In a laser lab, students examine light rays and colors. They can experiment with properties of light and color by filtering and reflecting colored beams across the computer screen.

In a soundwave studio, students can “see” sound waves in action as they adjust sound sources, test sound properties, and blend and identify sounds.

“Zap!” is recommended for children ages 8-12. The program is available for Windows 3.1 or higher or Macintosh System 7.0.1 or higher for $29.95. (800) 691-2986 http://www.edmark.com

National Geographic Maps

The National Geographic Society and The Learning Company have teamed up with Hewlett-Packard to launch this collection of eight CD-ROMs spanning more than 100 years of National Geographic mapmaking. The collection includes every foldout map ever published in the magazine.

The maps range in scope from the earth’s interior to distant stars. Produced by the National Geographic Society’s own cartographic division, each map took up to a year to produce and involved up to 25 cartographers.

The maps have played an important part of history as well, according to the society. During World War II, for example, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill used National Geographic’s 1944 map “Germany and Its Approaches” as his personal briefing map.

The collection will be distributed by Mindscape, a division of The Learning Company. It will be available this fall for Windows 95/98 for an estimated price of $79. (800) 231-3088 http://www.mindscape.com

Arthur’s Computer Adventure

The latest release in Broderbund Software’s “Living Books” series, “Arthur’s Computer Adventure” lets children interact with Arthur and play learning games as they read along with the story.

The plot finds Arthur and his friend Buster scrambling to fix a computer that Arthur’s mom told him not to touch while she was at work. While helping Arthur out of the jam, children develop reading, vocabulary, math, logic, and creativity skills.

Designed to captivate and teach children ages 3-7, “Arthur’s Computer Adventure” weaves 13 puzzles and five activities–each with adjustable levels of difficulty–into the animated children’s story by Marc Brown.

Priced at $29.95, the CD-ROM is now available for Windows or Macintosh. (800) 548-1798 http://www.broderbund.com