JumpStart 2nd Grade (known as Jump Ahead Year 2 in the United Kingdom) is a personal computer game released in 1996 by Knowledge Adventure. As its name suggests, it was made to teach second grade students. It was replaced by JumpStart Advanced 2nd Grade in 2002.
Like the previous JumpStart products, the game takes place in a school setting, but begins after school hours when a giant anthropomorphic frog named C.J. enters the classroom and frees a firefly named Edison. C.J. and Edison form a double act of sorts with C.J. being an ardent, self-styled "adventurer" while Edison is the more pragmatic straight man, who frequently makes sardonic comments in response to C.J.'s grandiosity. The duo have appeared in many other JumpStart products, such as JumpStart Advanced 2nd Grade; however, their looks and personalities have both undergone enormous changes throughout the years.
C.J. and Edison lead the user into a secret elevator hidden behind a bookcase. This elevator leads to several different floors, most of which are caverns beneath the school. The clubhouse and the classroom levels are the only ones to contain more than one activity. The floors are as follows:
The clubhouse is apparently C.J. and Edison's headquarters and is located directly above the classroom. Activities include:
- The jukebox - Players insert different coins and bills of U.S. currency into the jukebox to hear music.
- A computer - A simple computer used to type. It is not required to win the game.
- A tree branch - A tree branch leads to a game of Concentration in the fruit tree outside. (The kind of fruit the tree has changes from game to game. The exterior shot of the school from the beginning of the program shows apples, but the view of the tree from inside the clubhouse shows oranges.)
- The lookout - The user uses a clue to determine which planet in the Solar System is being "invaded" by malevolent robotic aliens. After the user selects the correct planet, C.J. and Edison fly there in a rocket and the user then has to play an arcade-styled game to save the planet which includes Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. (The aliens never invade Earth.)
- The fish tank - The user must find which numbers and words fit into a specific category.
The game in the boiler room involves recycling several items. Aside from encouraging recycling and perhaps improving hand-eye coordination, this game does not appear to have any obvious educational value.
Here, the user solves math and spelling problems to open the mysterious Bone Vault, which, predictably, turns out to be filled with bones.
In this activity, players decode meaningless messages written in American Sign Language, Braille and "Larvaic" ("language of the larva") using a key. Before the game can be played, however, the user must get past a giant Blues-playing caterpillar by answering a biology question.
The user solves math or spelling problems to help five gophers make it across a subterranean river so they can guide C.J. and Edison through their tunnels. After the game is completed, C.J. and Edison are taken to a cave filled with traffic signs. There, C.J. and Edison explain the meaning of whichever signs the user clicks on.
The user answers addition, subtraction, and multiplication problems to freeze ice bugs so that they will fill a sixteen unit grid. After the user completes the grid, the ice floor breaks which leads to an old pirate ship that is frozen in the ice. There the user will find a map with all seven continents on it. When clicking on a continent, C.J. will inform the user about an interesting fact regarding it. Also, on a pen pal challenge, the user has to pick the correct continent to complete the challenge.