Science & Nature
A Field Trip to the Sky
Heavy with a cosmic amount of information about the solar system, A Field Trip to the Sky (Sunburst Communications)is an educational CD-ROM that comes with a supplementary student guide. From the main menu, in addition to a reference almanac with an encyclopedic wealth of information, you can enter the Sun or Moon Labs. In the Sun Lab, by observing the Sun as it changes position in the Earth’s sky, you are meant to derive an understanding of how the Earth’s rotation around the Sun causes day and night. The Moon Lab operates on a similar premise. Much of the program centers around a core of information presented in a hypertexted reference format. The visual elements – pictures or, occasionally, video – fail to enliven the factual material (which is often burdened by intricate detail). When you’ve assimilated enough information, you can play the Solar System Game, a lusterless game designed to test rather than to educate or entertain. Better multimedia and less reliance on dense hypertext would invigorate this program.
– September 1996
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