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Making Your Classroom Robotics Ready

Aug 4, 2017

WONDERful Advice from a WW Guest Blogger

It’s that time of year again — the beginning of a new school year. It’s the perfect time to try something new. Why not introduce Dash and Dot to your classroom? But before introducing your students to these endearing blue robots, it’s important to set the stage for success and help make your classroom robotics ready!

Room Environment: First and foremost, you need to find a place to store and charge your robots. Dash and Dot fit well on a bookcase or on the shelves of a closet. However, make sure the location you choose has adequate ventilation and consistent heating and cooling, as extreme temperatures are not good for Dash and Dot. When choosing a storage location, it’s important to consider its proximity to an outlet. If you own more than three robots and don’t already own a charging station like the the one listed here, I suggest investing in one or more. A charging station allows you to charge several robots from one outlet. The USB connectors that come with Dash and Dot work well from a computer or a charging box like the ones used for smartphones, but the convenience of a charging station is well worth the additional cost!

Naming the Robots: Once you have chosen a location for Dash and Dot, you need to get them ready for your students. First, download any of the five apps onto your classroom tablets: Go, Path, Xylo, Blockly, and/or Wonder. Once the apps are downloaded, you can name your robots! Click the + icon within any of the apps to sync a specific robot to a device. (Hint: turn on just one robot at a time when renaming!) Then click the orange button to assign the robot a new name and color. Using a permanent marker, write the unique name on a piece of painter tape, and stick it on the robot for easy identification. Doing so will ensure that the students are able to find their robot within a group of others. For younger students, you may want to name and label the robots prior to using them in a lesson so that students will know to which robot their device is paired. Older students will love naming their own robots as part of a first lesson!

Care & Maintenance: Finally, help your students learn to care for Dash and Dot. The robots may look and act like toys, but they are valuable educational resources and deserve a long life! In order to keep these robots in tip-top condition, take the time to teach your students your expectations for care and handling of the robots. You may want to post Wonder Workshop’s tips. Tie these tips into a whole group lesson, and applaud those who show gentle loving care. As students demonstrate their proficiency, gradually reduce your supervision.

Roles & Responsibilities: For the best results, I recommend putting students in groups of two or three and assigning roles to each student. Roles might include but are not limited to: the Programmer, the Robot Wrangler, and the Documentarian. Official-sounding, right? TheProgrammer gets to program the robot, but s/he will want to listen to the ideas of the group. The Robot Wrangler brings the robot back to the starting location at the end of each test run. And the Documentarian records the group work on paper or in a digital journal. Rotate these jobs so that each child has a chance to practice the different responsibilities. In my classroom, we rotate jobs every time a program’s “PLAY” button is pressed.

Dash and Dot bring engagement and fun wherever they go. They are a perfect addition to any classroom. And back-to-school is the perfect time to prepare your classroom to be “robotics ready”!

*Katie Chirhart is an iPad Lab teacher in Shreveport, LA.

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.