Geeks, as a general rule, tend to be a highly-educated, highly literate subculture in the United States. Part of the reason geeks end up so smart is that they are raised smart. Geek families tend to teach acceptance, manners and commitment to the things that interest them. In other words, not even having children can keep geek parents from watching their Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica or other smart science fiction television shows or movies. George Lucas seemed to understand that, and the eagerness geek parents have for sharing their beloved programs with their children, when he designed programs like Yoda’s Challenge for the Lucas Learning branch of Lucasfilm.
The Star Wars Yoda’s Challenge program has been winning awards since 1999 when Lucas Learning introduced it and the program remains popular with parents and children to this day. Yoda’s Challenge is educational software intended for children ages six and up and for students in grades one through four. One of the first key selling points of Yoda’s Challenge is its ability to grow with your child. Yoda’s Challenge features four different skill levels that parents may change. This allows you to use the same basic program to adapt to your child’s individual learning curve.
Yoda’s Challenge comes on CD-ROM and is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh computers. Macintosh computers running OS 7.6 or higher should have no trouble installing Yoda’s Challenge. For Windows users, patches may be required from Microsoft as Lucas Learning wrote Yoda’s Challenge for use on Windows 95/98 systems!
Do not let the age of the software give you pause! Yoda’s Challenge is as useful and cool today as it was when Lucas Learning released it over a decade ago! Yoda’s Challenge helps children learn how to read both words and basic sheet music. Beyond the concrete skills, Yoda’s Challenge encourages logical development through challenges that require deductive reasoning in order for students to progress to the next level. Children learn spatial relations and how to manipulate objects through tangram puzzles.
Lucas Learning keeps children stimulated by disguising their education as fun. Activities like piloting a ship through a cave help children learn directions and the properties of motion, without explicitly directing the student. The entire interface for Yoda’s Challenge is Star Wars based, so children who have seen the movies with their parents – or watch The Clone Wars animated series – will recognize characters and scenarios from the movies. Because the setting if familiar to children, they are more likely to absorb the lessons than through unique or new environment.
George Lucas’s commitment to education is impossible to deny with cool programs like Yoda’s Challenge from Lucas Learning which uses a galaxy far, far away to teach your child right in your own home!
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