November 10, 2004


Media Contact: Kendra Ericson
Tool Factory Inc.
Telephone: (802) 375-6549 Ext. 201
FAX: (802) 375-6860
Email Address:

Tool Factory Wins Museum of Science “Top Choice”

Software Competition

Boston’s Museum of Science has selected Tool Factory’s Badger Trails and Musical Leaps and Bounds as winners of the 2004 Top Choice Software Awards Competition. The two Tool Factory titles have been installed in the Cahner’s ComputerPlace Discovery Exhibit at the museum, where over 300,000 annual visitors explore interactive, multi-media programs.

Tool Factory shares the top honors with an elite group of six other winners, and is the only publisher to have two programs recognized. Winning titles were chosen for being highly interactive, helping develop new skills, encouraging creativity and problem solving, providing constructive feedback, and inspiring curiosity.

Badger Trails

Badger Trails begins with a detailed, richly illustrated, interactive story about a family of badgers being studied by biologists. In search of food, one of the badgers wanders onto a trailer and falls asleep. When it awakens, the badger is far from home, tired, and hungry. Students live the life of a badger—all from the badger’s perspective—and must make their way home, through a myriad of dangers and encounters.  They gather information about badgers, their senses, their food, and the threats they face. Using this information and a wonderfully detailed map—using BPS (Badger Positioning System)--children navigate, find food and water, and avoid danger. Grades 2-5 students acquire literacy skills, scientific understanding, and navigational abilities through this engrossing program. Playing Badger Trails will undoubtedly result in uproarious laughter and endless opportunities to learn about science.

Musical Leaps and Bounds

Musical Leaps and Bounds is a brilliant text-free program depending entirely on animation and sound to teach musical fundamentals to young learners. Without speech or text, curious young minds quickly learn to navigate the six colorful, humorous activities while learning about beat, pitch, timbre, and musical accompaniment. The program also helps improve listening skills, lengthen concentration span, enhance memory, and develop mouse skills.

In the opening screen, three frogs beat drums nearly as big as they are. The two on the outside keep perfect time while the frustrated one in the middle struggles to catch on. (Make sure the sound is on!) The curtain drops with applause, and then raises again to present an unlikely group of six bobbing dancers, each representing a different activity: a green guy with the funky haircut teaches about octaves; selecting the yellow dog leads to the Moody Jukebox, offering different musical styles and the moods associated with them; and the three-toed blue critter appears as part of a multi-member band, each one playing a different instrument. When clicked on, each musician hops on stage and starts playing. The child can create their own arrangements and learn how instruments fit together. Although designed for K-1 children, the six activities are truly fun for all ages.

Platform and Installation

Both Badger Trails and Musical Leaps and Bounds install quickly on Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh computers.

To Purchase

Both of these programs are available by calling (800) 220-8386 or visiting A single installation of Musical Leaps and Bounds is $44.95, and Badger Trails is $49.95. Multiple installations and network versions are available. The Museum of Science will also be offering these titles in their museum shop. (

About Tool Factory

Tool Factory is a Vermont publisher and developer of leading-edge educational software, meeting the needs of educators and students across a wide range of skill levels and disciplines. As a woman-owned, Vermont-based small business, Tool Factory’s goal is to make a difference in American education by providing superior educational software. The Tool Factory staff  combs global markets for the best educational computer applications available and tailors products to meet the needs of American educators and students. The staff has also pioneered its own unique applications designed to fill niches not addressed in the current educational marketplace. Teachers, students, and parents join the Tool Factory staff in testing products to ensure that they are easy to navigate, fun to use, and beneficial to the learning process. (

For press inquiries, please call Kendra Ericson at (802) 375-6549 or email