Wonder League Robotics Competition  |  

Joy + Grit: Winning Combo for Developing Growth Mindsets

Mar 15, 2017

Drumroll, please … because in less than two weeks we will be announcing the winners of our 2016–2017 Wonder League Robotics CompetitionAnimal Habitat Rescue, which culminated with the finalists’ mission called Bamboo Hullabaloo! This year, one team in each of the two categories, ages 6–8 and ages 9–12, will win the grand prize of a $5,000 STEM grant. Team members from all top five teams per category also will each receive a Dash robot. We’ve been so impressed by the thousands of submissions, watching hours of footage and pouring over the amazing science journals, that we also will be awarding thematic Honorable Mentions in ten categories too.

It has been such an exciting judging process over the past few weeks. And the thousands of journal entries, photos, and video clips have truly illustrated the concrete connection between kids learning to code and kids developing a growth mindset. In her research, Stanford professor Carol Dweck explains the value of having a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset when it comes to challenges, obstacles, effort, criticism, and success of others, both in learning and in life. We’re thrilled that our robotics competitions help to cultivate this mindset. Growth mindset can be learned and developed over time, and we applaud the many teams who embraced the Wonder League Robotics Competition missions! By introducing these coding challenges to your kids and students, you are giving them instances of practice. Each day, each conversation, each test becomes a teachable moment.

Our Wonder League teams have illustrated core values, such as persistence, teamwork, dedication, and responsibility in aiding Dash to save the day — all with a coordinates map, cups, ping pong balls, a bit of imagination, and lots of problem solving. The kids’ genuine reactions and emotions underscored their passion, perseverance, and grit when it came to tackling the missions.

These winning teams collaborated by looking at the big picture to set goals and then take on shared responsibility in creating and executing their plans, often switching roles. In various ways, they broke down problems and processes into smaller steps. Throughout their trial and error processes, they experienced moments of pure joy as well as frustration, but persisted and embraced the challenge test by test, day by day. They were ever-insightful as they reflected on what worked, what didn’t work, and how they might fail forward. These teams were models of continuous learning.

It was so encouraging to witness kids think about their thinking! As a former elementary school teacher, I was always asking students to “show me” their thinking. The science journals urged them to articulate the why behind the what and pushed them to show what they know in at least three trials (some recorded over 100!) Kids employed higher-order thinking skills as they described their hypotheses, observations, and conclusions, all while deconstructing their processes, analyzing their solutions, and evaluating their opinions. They were asking insightful questions while building on each other’s ideas. Together, the teams celebrated the small wins as they pushed through the bigger obstacles, encouraging each other through the ups and downs.

With more than 25,000 kids in 5,300 teams participating, we’re proud of all who successfully submitted. We will be announcing the winners publicly on Tuesday, March 28th, via Facebook Live. So keep an eye out for more blog articles and social announcements, and join us on Facebook at 9AM PDT on the 28th when we will reveal the top teams!

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: https://store.makewonder.com/products/dash

Check Device Compatibility here: https://www.makewonder.com/compatibility

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 https://store.makewonder.com

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 support@makewonder.com, 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 www.makewonder.com/classroom/robotics-competition/ 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.