Ignite! Learning, led by President Bush’s brother Neil drew large crowds at the conference in previewing the new version of its science courseware, Ignite Science. This latest suite of materials offers integrated science instruction for the middle-school grades. It will be fully available for the fall. The software includes textbook-level teaching in a multimedia format with thousands of video clips, songs, animations, and engaging activities that are correlated to national standards and customizable to the state level, according to company representatives, adding that a year’s worth of teaching materials is provided for each grade level. The entertaining animation demonstrated at TCEA, with recurring characters like the know-it-all scientist “Mr. Bighead,” seemed to appeal to viewers, engaging them with materials that appeared to be a cross between late-night programming on the Cartoon Network and NOVA. Such pedagogical tactics answer the call to employ strategies to teach materials that might otherwise fail to captivate a teenage audience in a way that is more accessible.

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