Digital Lab (ages 8 & up) is a terrific introduction to the whys and wherefores of digital electronics. This is the second in Philips Media’s Cybercraft series, taking up where Fun with Electronics left off. You start by putting together the workbench that comes packaged with the program. You have to insert a bunch of springs, then connect the lights, and then do the wiring. Kids will need some help from a parent; inserting the little springs is a job for someone with big thumbs. Once you’ve set up the workbench, you actually get to build a number of different things, like a light sequencer or a sound counter (which uses the lights to count the number of sounds you make). A little computer animation offers an overview, then a voice guides you through the project step-by-step. You can also “Meet the Components” to find out what all the different parts of your workbench do, then take the “Digi Quiz” to find out how much you’ve learned. “Basics” has four mini-sections on how electronics do their thinking. “Gadget Section” explains how common digital electronic items like computers, scanners, and video games work. To put all this information to work, there are twelve projects to do with your workbench. Being able to have a hands-on experience while you learn is the best part of the program. True, it can get a little inconvenient to be building, wiring, and clicking for the next step, but two kids or a parent/child combination is a good solution. If you want something really cool to bring to school for show and tell – say an action timer or a random number generator – look no further. Digital Lab delivers.
– December 1996, Kid’s Education