In the Classroom  |  Product Updates  |  

New Game Design Unit for Cue’s Applied Robotics Curriculum!

Dec 5, 2018

Do you like games? So do we! From ping pong to video games to board games, we get inspired by playing different types of games in the office on a weekly basis. In fact, game design and game-based learning have been shown to increase students’ engagement and motivation while exposing them to the fundamentals of design thinking. In his work, James Paul Gee, considered the godfather of Game-Based Learning (GBL), delves into the many benefits of using games and game design in education, which include:

  • Agency: Players have control over the gaming environment.
  • Challenge and consideration: Games offer a problem that challenges students’ assumed expertise.
  • System thinking: Games make players think of a bigger picture, not just individual actions taken, helping them see how the pieces fit or can be fitted together.
  • Opportunities to explore, think laterally, rethink goals: Games force players to expand their situational knowledge and consider courses of action other than linear ones.

Thus, we are eager share our passion for games in Unit 2: Game Design, part of our middle school Applied Robotics Curriculum for Cue.

Lesson Plans

Part of our Applied Robotics Curriculum, Unit 2: Game Design is a continuation from Unit 1: Creative Writing. Through a series of ten 50- to 60-minute lessons, your students will design and create either a sports, puzzle, or complex strategy game with Cue. As they develop their game, students will practice and implement more advanced coding and robotics concepts, such as functions, variables, and conditionals. For example, they will use variables to keep track of different player scores in their game and use conditionals to help Cue decide who is the winner of their game! Students will also get to choose to program their game in blocks or JavaScript.

Game Design Process Notebook

To work on their game design project, students use our brand-new Design Process Notebooks, which guide them in using design thinking principles such as understanding the audience, developing prototypes, testing content, and refining their work.

The Design Process Notebook is full of voice and choice! With Activity Menus, students get to choose from four different 30-minute activities that incorporate advanced coding concepts and robot capabilities.

With Project Pathways, students choose a game design project. The notebooks then break down the project into ten different phases, so that students can design and reflect on their design decisions, one step at a time. The notebook contains prompts and graph paper so that your students can sketch out their game designs, list their brainstorm ideas, and reflect on their work!

In-App Challenges

To support them in their discovery of more complex coding concepts, we’ve also added brand-new challenges in the Cue app that allow students to practice programming in JavaScript as well!

These in-app challenges are perfect for guided or independent practice. Before students take on the more open-ended activities in the Design Process Notebook, they can gain exposure to the Block and JavaScript syntax and new robot capabilities. Students then can apply what they’ve learned in the challenges to their game design projects.

Additional Teacher Resources

We also offer additional resources online to help you implement Unit 2: Game Design in your classroom.

For a limited time, access and download a digital copy of our Applied Robotics Curriculum Guide for FREE! This Curriculum Guide content offers implementation strategies, assessment tools, and suggested solutions for all in-app content and the activities in the Design Process Notebooks. We recommend downloading the Curriculum Guide soon, as the digital download will only be free and available for a limited time!

You can learn more about our new content and curriculum by visiting our Applied Robotics Curriculum page:

Happy gaming, everyone!

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.