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Rainforest Alliance and Stepping Stones Museum for Children Team Up with Ruckus Mobile Media to Launch Educational Rainforest App

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“Rainforest Survival Challenge” app teaches children about nature’s circle of life in the Amazonian Rainforest

New York, NY/Boston, MA/Norwalk, CT – The Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit conservation organization, together with Stepping Stones Museum for Children, an award winning museum committed to broadening and enriching the lives of children, and Ruckus Mobile Media, an independent family entertainment company, today announced the release of Rainforest Survival Challenge, a mobile application devised specifically for the iPad. Designed to educate children ages 8 through 12 about the interconnection between plants and animals in the Amazonian rainforest, the app offers thought-provoking information about a variety of native species that live in one of the Earth’s most fascinating and delicate ecosystems.

The app, which is designed to appeal to children and parents alike — through a mix of play, discovery and learning through technology — is the result of a collaboration between Ruckus Media, developer of content-driven interactive applications for Apple mobile devices, Stepping Stones, a museum committed to creating environments that inspire life-long learning and the Rainforest Alliance, a global nonprofit that for nearly twenty five years has worked to promote forest conservation around the world.

“We are excited to use this new and innovative medium to introduce kids to the unique wildlife found in tropical forests,” said Julianne Schrader, manager of the education program at the Rainforest Alliance. “The Rainforest Alliance helps students of all ages understand the role that each one of us plays in biodiversity conservation. We want to inspire the next generation to conserve the planet’s most precious ecosystems.”

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with such esteemed partners,” said Ruckus founder and CEO Rick Richter. “Our goal at Ruckus is to stimulate, educate and engage young minds. The Rainforest Survival Challenge app provides the perfect blend of wholesome entertainment and education that makes for an app we hope families can enjoy together.”

Stepping Stones and the Rainforest Alliance first collaborated seven years ago to create Rainforest Adventure, a hands-on, interactive exhibit designed to help children learn about tropical forests around the world and the people and wildlife that depend on them.

The Rainforest Survival Challenge app is an extension of this partnership, further enhancing the exhibit as it readies for a national tour beginning in May 2011.

“Technology literacy is perhaps the most misunderstood of the 21st century learning skills,” explains Stepping Stones COO, Kevin Carter. “How you use technology is the true challenge. Here, we’re able to use it in a very positive way. The game is a blast for kids but also opens the door — for any age — to a greater understanding about the world’s rainforests.”

The app is now available on Apple’s iTunes App Store for only $0.99. A portion of the proceeds from app sales will go to support education initiatives at the Rainforest Alliance and Stepping Stones Museum for Children.

Rainforest Survival Challenge builds on the Rainforest Alliance’s extensive educational resources, including free, kindergarten through eighth grade school curriculum, which provides complete lesson plans that follow state and national learning standards. By teaching kids about tropical rainforests, and the fundamental environmental issues that threaten these delicate ecosystems, the Rainforest Alliance is empowering children to take action that will help protect the planet.

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