IBM Brain Quest
Brain Quest First Grade by IBM is an excellent piece of software to use with children in the classroom or at home. In this CD-ROM adventure, learners take a journey with the Perdido family in their brain-powered family van. To keep it going, they must continue to answer challenging questions on an array of subjects. It is very easy to understand and use, and it is a lot of fun!
In The Classroom
Brain Quest First Grade has challenging questions that are appropriate for children in first grade or above, and is adaptable for use by students of different ability levels. It allows you to choose whether the student reads the questions or whether they are read aloud by the computer. Another program option will reveal the answers. The program utilizes questions from many subjects: language arts, mathematics, science, social studies and grab bag (miscellaneous), or you may choose to narrow the field of questions to only one or two subjects. Brain Quest also has the option to extend students learning by providing a direct link to the World Book Encyclopedia, and provides an article related to the question being asked. The possibilities for classroom use are seemingly endless.
Options For Involvement
There are a multitude of options for student involvement, and also the ability to go online and purchase even more questions. Brain Quest allows the student to choose which type of game to engage in. The Grand Tour is for one player. The other two choices allow the user to compete against the Brain Quest crew, other students at the same computer, students linked by the same computer network or another user over the Internet. The High Gear Challenge is a race against time, and the Rally Strategy allows the players to choose their opponents questions. Each game option has different rewards for good work, which are stored in a treasure chest that students can access at any time during the game. If you log in under the same name each time you play, you will continue your journey with the Perdido family.
Brain Quest First Grade is an exceptional software choice for use with children first grade and above. It is fun and easy to learn. I particularly liked the availability of the World Book Encyclopedia to extend students learning on any given question. The different options keep it interesting and make it well suited for use in the classroom.
El Dorado Hills, CA
and Workman Publishing, Inc.
This article originally appeared in the 03/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.