Did you learn science from The Magic School Bus as a kid?

By: Olivia Seitz

"The Magic School Bus" is led by Ms. Frizzle, who the kids refer to as what?

Ms. Frizzle is the star of the show: she brings energy and adventure to each episode as she whisks children off to explore science on the (ironically named) magic school bus.

Kids boarding the bus are greeted with the phrase,"_________, everyone!"

Leave it to Scholastic to work a plug for travel safety into their educational show. Kids boarding the magic school bus are always encouraged to wear their seat belts!

What is the name of Ms. Frizzle's pet lizard?

Ms. Frizzle's pet lizard, Liz, is almost always along for the ride. She enjoys hopping around the bus from Ms. Frizzle's shoulder to the children and back.

What do islands have to do with underwater volcanoes?

In "Blows Its Top," the class and Ms. Frizzle visit the making of a new island. They help the volcano along and enjoy the ride on their lava-proof magic bus.

During the title song, the singer croons, "You might get baked into a ______ on the magic school bus!"

The song references many of the class's adventures, including the time that Ms. Frizzle gets them baked into a pie to understand the chemical reactions going on inside an oven.

What do the kids learn makes a cake rise?

The baking soda and water combine to make bubbles of carbon dioxide, which rise toward the surface and bring some cake batter along with them.

While exploring outer space, what happens to Ms. Frizzle?

While teaching the kids about the solar system, Ms. Frizzle and Liz get knocked out of the bus by an asteroid, so the students have to find and rescue her.

Where does the class investigate sound waves?

The group travels to a sound museum that the kids fear is haunted. It's the perfect opportunity for Ms. Frizzle to teach them about sound waves and give them a little fright.

What alternate sources of power does the class consider for running a Ferris wheel when the electricity goes out?

The students learn about and compare the efficacy of alternate ways to power machines, including wind, running water, gravity and sheer strength.

When a student has to stay home sick, what does the group do?

Obviously, the only thing TO do when Ralphie is sick is to travel through his bloodstream and investigate what's making him cough and sneeze.

When a student's frog escapes, what does the class do?

Clearly, the thing to do when your frog escapes is to hop in a mechanical frog and follow it to see where it goes. The episode explores amphibians' natural homes.

The squad investigates decomposition by exploring what?

The students learn how rot is actually an important source of food for new life growing in the woods. They realize that clearing out all the natural debris in a forest would do more harm than good.

In the desert episode, Ms. Frizzle exclaims, "If you can't take the ____, get out of the desert!"

When the magic school bus explores the desert, the students learn about adaptations organisms have to survive the desert weather, including burrows, sleeping during the day and storing extra water.

Why does the class scramble to fix Ms. Frizzle's doorbell on Valentine's Day?

They overheard a phone conversation which made it sound like Ms. Frizzle had a hot date coming up, but really she was just calling over an electrician to fix the doorbell. At least they learned about electricity in the process!

The class learns about ______ when Arnold accidentally swallows the bus.

Ms. Frizzle lets poor Arnold stay behind for once, only to bring the class on a trip through his digestive system. Fortunately, none of them fell into his stomach acid.

During an episode that explores nocturnal creatures (especially bats), what is Ralphie worried about?

She dresses up like Count Dracula and takes them to a castle to explore the lives of bats. They learn about everything from what bats eat to how bats navigate with echolocation.

What does the class use to catch a giant praying mantis that runs amok in a cheesy movie?

The bus transforms into a giant spider and spins a web large enough to trap the giant mantis. Then, they're able to shrink the mantis and set it free rather than kill it as the movie characters wanted to do.

The class learns about forces through a "frictionless" ______ game.

Ms. Frizzle combines Ralphie's love of baseball with a physics lesson when the bus takes a trip inside a physics book. Only the magic school bus could take them somewhere really frictionless to explore Newtonian physics.

In the episode "Gets Ants in its Pants," what do the students learn about ants?

Ant colonies are an example of social behavior in the animal kingdom: the ants work together to build an anthill and bring food to the queen so she can propagate the species.

How does the class learn about dinosaurs?

To learn about dinosaurs, the class gets a full tour: not only do they see what scientists investigate to learn about dinosaurs, they get to see the dinosaurs in action, too.

During a trip to the zoo, what does Ms. Frizzle do?

Who are we kidding? Of course Ms. Frizzle would find some way to make the field trip crazy, so she turns all the students into animals and lets them run amok.

Keesha learns that her prize-winning cucumber turned into a ______ because of microbes.

The bacteria growing on the cucumber helped it turn into a pickle instead of just rotting like the veggies that were left out in the open.

During an episode about the food chain, the bus is eaten by what?

You read that right - they got eaten by a tunafish. Why? Two students forgot about an assignment to pair two beach items, and Ms. Frizzle was inspired to show them the connection.

What does Ms. Frizzle's class learn about the pet lizard?

Reptiles are cold-blooded; in other words, they don't produce their own body heat to keep themselves warm. They seek out warm spaces like the sidewalk to soak up some sun when they're cold.

How do honeybees communicate with the hive?

Bees can tell the other bees in the hive where to find more flowers by doing a dance that illustrates the directions the bees have to take to get there. In "The Magic School Bus," the class has to figure out how to dance so that the bees will find the last flowers of the season.

What does the miniaturized class use to build a bridge to escape Wanda's bathroom?

The episode is an introduction to basic construction using at-home supplies. The class has to build something strong enough not to collapse under their weight, but long enough to get them where they need to go.

Where does the class go to investigate circulation?

To understand the role circulation plays in exercise, the class hops on the magic school bus and visits Ms. Frizzle's lungs, where they can discover how blood is oxygenated.

Plants take in nutrients through what?

While leaves absorb the energy needed for the plant to grow, the roots soak up water and minerals as food. Naturally, Ms. Frizzle teaches this to the class by turning one of her students into a plant and taking the rest on a field trip to her roots.

In the episode about rainbows, Ms. Frizzle shows the class how you can use what to separate white light into colors?

A prism refracts the light that enters it so that it's split into the color spectrum, creating a rainbow. The prism bends the path of the light as it enters and different wavelengths are separated.

What does the class find is causing a cocoa bean shortage?

In the convoluted rainforest episode, the students learn that the cocoa trees weren't producing beans because the bugs that pollinated them had no home, thanks to the caretaker replacing the natural muddy environment with artificial turf.

According to Keesha, what is an empty pickle jar filled with?

The class explores just what air really is - even though most people would say the pickle jar is empty, Keesha talks about how it is full of air. When the class investigates, they learn about the properties of gases.

What happens to the star the class purchased for Dorothy Ann?

When the class buys a star for her birthday, they choose one that is large and red. As it turns out, it was a red supergiant on the brink of going supernova, so they witness the explosion from the magic school bus. Then they gather the pieces and make a brand new star for D.A.

When their Smell Search entry is compromised with skunk smell, what does the class do?

By eliminating the molecules that cause the skunk smell, they're able to leave the rest of the smell intact and win the competition.

In the coral reef, what does the class learn?

Ms. Frizzle turns them all into sea-dwellers like shrimp, anemones and remoras. To reach their goal of finding buried treasure, they have to learn how the coral reefs use cooperation to survive.

Who is a recurring villain in the series?

Janet, Arnold's cousin, is often a foil to the rest of the class, siding against them on issues and even sabotaging a science-fair-related project.

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Image: Magic School Bus

About This Quiz

"The Magic School Bus" is beloved by many for its zany episodes and cool science concepts. Feeling nostalgic yet? Take this quiz to see what you remember from the show!

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