For Immediate Release: October 19, 1998
Media Contact: Claudia Chandler -- 916 654-4989

'Energy Quest' Serves as Outpost
For CyberSurfari '98
Internet's Largest Treasure Hunt

"Energy Quest" -- the California Energy Commission's award-winning Web site for energy education -- holds a clue that will help unlock a treasure chest containing more than $100,000 in cash and prizes for participants of Lycos CyberSurfari '98, the Internet's largest treasure hunt.

Running from Oct. 20 to Nov. 20, the month-long on-line contest made possible for the fourth year by the Software Publishers Association (SPA) is designed to help students, teachers and families learn how to benefit from surfing the Web. "Energy Quest" serves as one of 100 outposts; the sites participants must search to reveal clues. Outposts are selected to represent a broad spectrum of leading educational, cultural and entertainment sites.

"The Energy Commission is proud to serve as an outpost for CyberSurfari '98," said Energy Commission Assistant Executive Director Claudia Chandler. "The contest reflects our commitment to increasing the number of students and adults accessing the Internet and making their online experience as rich as possible. We are confident that many of the thousands of treasure seekers who visit our site for the first time during the contest will return to enjoy our content for years to come."

As schools across the nation ramp up with technology, educators are teaching students how to utilize the Internet by incorporating CyberSurfari into their Fall curriculum. In 1997, more than 4,500 school teams competed with family teams and individuals from 97 countries -- a sixteen-fold increase over 1995. Over half the teachers who organized school teams indicated that CyberSurfari had been designated as part of their educational curriculum as opposed to an extra-curricular activity. This signaled a major breakthrough for the event and is a result of the popularity of the contest with students and the educational value of a structured Web activity.

"CyberSurfari has become one of SPA's greatest achievements in promoting the integration of technology and schools," said Ken Wasch, SPA president. "The contest focuses on navigating the wealth of information available on the World Wide Web in a team or individual format that's just plain fun. Many classes hold a pizza party to kick off the competition and students are eager to find clues both at school and with their parents' help at home. We consider Lycos CyberSurfari '98 a perfect vehicle to introduce students to the Internet, and we're proud that educators agree."

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