Science 1 (Shards) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

Electron User

Science 1
By Shards
Acorn Electron

Published in Electron User 2.03

This package consists of four separate programs on balances, meter reading, thermometer reading and lenses. The meter program is on twice, in Mode 1 and in Mode 0. The Mode 0 version added nothing - I preferred the extra colours of Mode 1.

The introductory program has a noisy title plus an index. I expected the index to give single letter entry to load a program, but the options are to see the index or leave the program. Leaving the program gives you a blank screen and it is necessary to CHAIN whichever program you want. The trouble is, you've now forgotten their names and the sheet of information has different titles for them.

The balancing program collects your name, then gives a menu of options. You have to decide whether to be nice or nasty - there is no explanation as to what this means at this stage!

Science 1

The program gives practice in working out how to balance see-saws. The explanation is rather sketchy, but if you do get the answer correct a little diver hurls himself into a cup of liquid or, if you chose nasty, he goes splat on the floor. If you get the answer wrong, large arrows indicate which way the see-saw tips, and then the diver splats if you are nice or splashes if you are nasty.

The meter reading program provides practice on reading the two most common school meter scales. It is well constructed, making good use of large text, and with an option to magnify the relevant part of the scale. The program is rather fussy, four keypresses are required before an answer is put in.

The thermometer program is very similar to the meter program. It provides practice in reading 0-100 degrees C, 0-150 degrees Fahrenheit and clinical degrees C thermometers.

Light provides a lesson in ray optics at concave/convex lenses/mirrors and is, again, well constructed using good text and attractive, simple graphics. The whole program is rather slow, particularly the sixteen questions.

Overall these are well-produced programs with the meter and thermometer sections the pick of the bunch. The major disadvantage of this educational package is total non-compatibility with the BBC Micro. If these programs are run on a Beeb, they have a nasty little trick - they clear the micro's memory.

Many schools have BBCs and Electrons. I would choose a program that would run on both machines to use in my school.

Rog Frost

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