NEW YORK To mark 25 years since the introduction of The Magic School Bus, Scholastic staged a field trip for 20 second graders on Thursday. The outing, which brought the students from the United Nations International School to Pier 84, was designed to mirror the bizarre and colorful adventures portrayed in Joanna Cole's popular book series and included a lesson in marine biology and a trip on the Hudson River with the bus.
Overseen by Daisy Kline, the educational publisher's vice president of marketing and brand management, and produced by the Michael Alan Group, the promotional event also re-created visual elements from the books, with a brightly colored bus stop sign and bench, a performer dressed as the fictional teacher Ms. Frizzle, and a school bus decorated with imagery that mimicked Bruce Degen's illustrations.
For the day's activities, the organizers built a makeshift beach—complete with items like fishing nets, life preservers, and kelp—on a barge docked next to the pier and brought in Dr. Merryl Kafka, a marine biologist and the New York Aquarium's former curator, to lead a 15-minute, hands-on lesson about the Hudson River's aquatic life. The students could touch, inspect, and interact with some of these sea creatures supplied by the aquarium as well as make notes in booklets provided by Scholastic. The field trip ended with a cruise downriver on a barge.
As part of the promotion, Scholastic donated the new Nintendo DS game Oceans and a certificate for the entire Magic School Bus series to the school.