In the Classroom  |  Product Updates  |  

Dash’s Neighborhood

May 20, 2020

Now you can implement 1:1 coding and robotics education affordably

The pandemic and subsequent school closures highlight the difficulty of reaching every student with meaningful learning experiences. Not only do we need to give students the right tools to continue learning and creating at home but, like never before, we need to help every student learn individually.

Our Dash robot has been widely successful as an inclusive hands-on tool for learning. This year’s Wonder League Robotics Competition (WLRC) drew teams from 91 countries to solve problems together. 47% of these participants were girls, and this has been the case since our first competition in 2015. Teachers and parents alike marvel at how Dash engages students of diverse backgrounds, leading with personality, captivating animations, and an endearing “Howdy-doo!” Over 4,000 school districts in the U.S. utilize their inventory of Dash robots with our standards-aligned, no-prep curriculum for teachers to offer students their favorite STEAM activities. By any standards, that’s impressive.

As schools embrace coding as a fundamental literacy and robotics as an essential engagement platform, the question of how to reach every student becomes top of mind. With schools closed and learners stuck at home, the need for a robust way to offer individual student activities that address 21st century skills is critical. 

How can school districts implement 1:1 coding and robotics education affordably? 

Today we are launching Dash’s Neighborhood, an online environment with a programmable, virtual Dash that students can program with the Blockly app. Our newly designed virtual Dash mirrors the real robot. Students will recognize the same enchanting personality and sensor-based interactions. In addition, they will gain access to an imaginative world embedded right inside of the kid-friendly Blockly programming app. Dash’s Neighborhood comes ready to code with our existing sequence of learning content and even includes a floor modelafter our Wonder League mat so teams can hold virtual practice sessions.

With Dash’s Neighborhood, educators no longer have to choose between coding apps and programmable robots. The kid-friendly apps that students use to program real robots can now be used online to program on-screen, virtual robots. Teachers don’t need to train with multiple tools and districts can implement one-to-one coding and robotics education with a competitively priced offering. Most importantly, students continue to experience rewarding group learning activities with Dash robots while also being able to iterate, test, and debug their programs from anywhere. In the current times when schools buildings are closed, students can also access and program Dash’s Neighborhood from home.

We announced beta access to Dash’s Neighborhood at our first ever Best of Coding and Robotics Virtual Summit last month. Since then, over 700 educators have provided encouraging feedback that we are already incorporating into the product. For example, educators are hoping to see even more surprising interactions and interwoven math concepts to engage their students and integrate coding and robotics into their classroom. We will continually make additions to Dash’s Neighborhood to serve needs like these and more. 

“Dash’s spunky personality shines through in Dash’s Neighborhood, making coding an engaging and rewarding experience. The simulated world Dash lives in is colorful and visually enticing to explore. Dash’s Neighborhood allows every student in my classroom to be actively creating and problem solving with code. One of my favorite features is the ability to switch back and forth between the simulator and the physical robot. We have enjoyed being able to write and test programs online and then switch to the physical robot and see it again. Most importantly, Dash’s Neighborhood allows for more equitable access to Dash and coding. It’s a great way to get robotics and coding into the hands of many kids and is a great option for classrooms and schools with a limited ability to have enough physical robots.”
- Emily Zarybnisky, 5th Grade Teacher, Brookfield Elementary, Fairfax Public Schools, Virginia

Dash’s Neighborhood can be accessed now from within the Blockly web app on Chromebooks or using a Chrome web browser. It will also be available on iPads in time for back to school this fall. Dash’s Neighborhood is included with a Class Connect license, and is free to all teachers through June 2020. You can learn more, sign up, and activate Dash’s Neighborhood using Class Connect. 

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I invite you to check out Dash’s Neighborhood today, and delight your students with a virtual version of their favorite robot. As always, we are keen to hear what you think and how we can improve our newest member of the Wonder Workshop family as well as our existing ones.

Wonder League Robotics Competition FAQ | Year 8

Hello, robotics enthusiasts! If you’re here, you’re probably as excited as we are about the 8th Annual Wonder League Robotics Competition! To help you and your teams have the best possible experience competing this year, we wanted to share answers to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Who Can Compete:

Any kid, anywhere in the world, ages 6-8 (Innovator Cup) and 9-12 (Pioneer Cup). There are two age brackets: 6-8 and 9-12 and team members have to fall within the age category at some point during the competition. Participants must be the qualifying age for their bracket on the last day of the competition, but if they gain a year during the competition, that’s OK. They won’t age out! 

Competition Brackets:

  • Innovator Cup (Age 6-8)
  • Pioneer Cup (Age 9-12)

What Makes a Team:

A team is made up of a supervising adult coach, and one or more children (up to 5). That’s right, kids can compete solo, but a coach who is 18+ is needed to help with the submission process. For multi-kid teams, each member must be in the same age bracket. Coaches may have multiple teams and can register all their teams after registering as a coach. Please keep in mind that each team will need a separate Class Connect registration.

Note: Younger students may participate in the 9-12 age category, but please be aware that the missions have been designed with older students and advanced coding skills in mind.

What a Team Needs to Compete:

Class Connect subscription

The team is made up of a supervising adult coach and one to five members

  1. Compatible device
  2. 5′ x 8′ mat of 30cm squares and basic prototyping materials
  3. Teams in 6-8 & 9-12 age brackets will need a Dash robot
  4. Internet access to download and upload materials

Teams will need one Dash robot:

Check Device Compatibility here:

We will be offering a mat image that you are welcome to use and print with your local printer, but teams are absolutely encouraged to make their own if they prefer. For more on how to make your own mat, check out this blog post.

Coaches will, of course, need internet access to download the apps and keep up with the competition as it progresses, and may want to print out some kid-facing materials that we will provide at each stage.

Class Connect Subscription:

To register for the 8th Wonder League Robotics Competition requires a subscription to Class Connect, providing additional resources like standards-aligned content assignable right inside a student’s Blockly app. Learn more about Class Connect here.

If you already have a Class Connect subscription, you have access to register a team, based on your student license amount. If you have more than one team of 5 students, you will need to purchase another Coach Success Pack or consider a larger subscription to accommodate more teams and students.

  1. A Coach Success Pack provides:
    Participation in the WLRC for up to 5 students
    Access to all Missions
    Full access to Class Connect, (including Math Activities and Dash’s Neighborhood), for 5 students and 1 teacher for 7 months
    A discount code for a Dash robot from our online store at

Please note: Teams will need a physical Dash robot to complete the Missions.
The Coaches’ Dashboard in Class Connect will help our coaches register and manage their team(s). The dashboard will be your one-stop shop for all Wonder League Robotics Competition management. You will be able to access the Coaches’ Corner–where all competition-related content and resources will be hosted–the Heartbeat community forum, and all the submission forms right there on the Dashboard.

Accessing Missions for the Innovator Cup and Pioneer Cup:

Once your purchase is completed for Class Connect, you will receive an email to activate your Class Connect license.

Once this license is activated, you will be able to register yourself as a coach and register your teams. This is done on your portal page under the Robotics Competition tab.

Once your team/teams are registered, you will get an additional email from CoAssemble, our partner hosting the missions this year. This email will state you have been registered for the “2022-2023 Coaches Corner Course”.

Click on the link to be redirected to the CoAssemble website, and you will see the course and can access the Coaches’ Corner Guide as well as the Missions (available November 3, 2022).

Still having trouble accessing all the resources in the Coaches’ Corner? If you have previously had a license to Class Connect and registered as a coach, and have not seen Coaches’ Corner added to your CoAssemble list of courses, please email us at, and we will provide assistance.

Last Year’s Missions:

Taking a peek at last year’s missions might help you get a sense of what the competition is like. Just sign in with your Class Connect subscription and register as a coach to take a peek at the previous years by going to the Coaches’ Corner and selecting the desired year.

2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Milestone Dates:

Here are important milestone dates to keep in mind as coaches develop timelines for teams competing in the 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition.


  1. October 21, 2022: Student Team Registration Opens
  2. November 3, 2022: Round One Opens + Five Mission Released
  3. January 13, 2023: Student Team Registration Closes
  4. January 27, 2023: Mission Evidence Submission Closes 
  5. January 28-March 5, 2023: Invitational Round Notification 
  6. February 6, 2023: Invitational Round Opens + Final Mission Released
  7. March 24, 2023: Invitational Round Submission Due 
  8. April 10, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Opens 
  9. April 21, 2023: People’s Choice Voting Closes 
  10. May 4, 2023: 2022-23 Wonder League Robotics Competition Winner Announcement

NEW Award Category: WLRC People’s Choice Award

Teams may opt in to participate in the WLRC People’s Choice Award category by creating a :30 second video explaining the Team’s Invitational Round Final Mission solution that will be shared with the community at in an “online crowd vote” competition. The WLRC People’s Choice Award allows teams to share and celebrate their work in the WLRC and encourage community support in voting for their team. This is an optional category for teams to enter and will not impact scoring of the Invitational Round submission as they will be judged by STEM and Coding experts using a published rubric.

Children’s Privacy:

We take our participants’ privacy very seriously and comply with COPPA when collecting any information. In the invitational round we ask only for the students’ first names, and request parents’ permission. For those that make it into the Invitational Round, we ask for full names, again with permission. We are never marketing, selling to, or corresponding with children. All contact is through the proxy of the coach.