Discoveries (1995) was a series of four interactive CD-ROM programs for Grades 3-6 (ages 8-12). It included hypertext, panoramic images, and immersive technology in a pre-web ecology.


The series won the National Educational Media Award (1996), the New England Book Show Award (1996), the Bookbuilder’s Award (1995), and was selected for the Gallery at the Fifth Annual Macromedia Conference (1994). 

Titles in the series

img_3975Into the Forest (Great Smoky Mountains National Park) [ISBN 0-669-36168-2]

Editor: Grace Talusan
Designer: Angela Sciaraffa
Logo: Pamela Esty
Cover photo illustration: Daniel Derdula

In the Desert (The Sonoran Desert) [ISBN 0-669-36167-4]

Editor: Marie E. Norris
Designer: Victor Curran
Logo: Pamela Esty

IMG_3972Sky High (The History of Aviation) [ISBN 0-669-36166-6]

Editor: Grace Talusan
Computer Prepress: Ricki Pappo
Designer: Angela Sciaraffa
Logo: Pamela Esty
Cover Art: Pamela Esty


IMG_3973The Nature Connection (The Florida Everglades) [ISBN 0-669-36169-0]

Editor: Karen Potter
Designer: Angela Sciaraffa
Logo: Pamela Esty
Cover Art: Pamela Esty


Each CD-ROM invites the user on a virtual field trip to discover a new environment by scrolling through a 360-degree panorama filled with images, motion video, animation, voices, and music. Students write in an e-journal and “photograph” images on the CD.

The Visitor’s Center is an online museum. For Into the Forest it is home to

  • the Library (multimedia, interactive books),
  • the Activity Wall (containing the Tree Cross-Section, Hiking Game, Smokey Bear poster, Fun Facts),
  • the World Map (with interactive elements), and
  • the Door Wall (containing the Trivia Game, the Pamphlet Racks, the Forest Explorations, and a map of the Appalachian Trail).

The accompanying teacher’s guides contain numerous on- and off-line activities.


Discoveries was originally published by D. C. Heath, then Houghton Mifflin, later Sunburst.  The technology appears primitive now, but was state-of-the-art in 1995.


  • Director of Educational Technologies: Roland Ochsenbein
  • Project Manager: Debby Astudillo
  • CD-ROMs: Mark Tricca, Brian Quible, Sandra Easton
  • Consultant: Bertram C. Bruce

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