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Voice and Choice in Middle School Coding and Robotics

Aug 22, 2018

Have you met our new robot, Cue? Cue was specifically designed with middle school students in mind. From the four different personalities you can select to the different programming paradigms available, the Cue experience focuses on two fundamental themes: voice and choice.

As students enter middle school, we want them to take more ownership of their learning. With voice, students are given the chance to express their ideas and creativity. With choice, students are given opportunities to personalize their learning experience and make educated decisions.

Thus, as we designed our Applied Robotics Curriculum for Cue, we also incorporated voice and choice as part of each curriculum component.

Curriculum Overview

Our Applied Robotics Curriculum provides teaching tools that help introduce robot capabilities tied to fundamental coding concepts. Students explore these capabilities in depth, using different programming paradigms. They then apply these capabilities to a long-term creative writing project as a means of assessment.

Throughout the experience, students are provided opportunities to make choices in the programming language they use, the activities they complete, and the projects they design. Each long-term project also encourages students to express their voice through themes such as creative writing and game design!

Cue App

The Cue app is full of challenges and example programs that show students how to program Cue in fun and creative ways!

The app also introduces students to multiple programming paradigms. Students can choose to program using blocks, similar to and Scratch. They can also, with a touch of a button, convert their programming to text. Additionally, they can program using Wonder, a revolutionary, state-machine programming language where students can arrange their code into patterns that are similar to flowcharts or decision trees.

Whether students choose to program in blocks, text, or Wonder, they have the chance to express themselves with many features such as recording custom sounds and LED eye patterns!

Design Process Student Notebook

Our Design Process Student Notebook is also full of voice and choice!

The notebook includes Activity Menus in which students can choose one of four short activities that help them practice fundamental robot capabilities and coding concepts. Each Activity Menu is followed by graph pages with prompts to help students plan out, test, record, and reflect on the programs they develop to complete each activity.

Along the way, students are also given the opportunity to choose one of three long-term creative writing projects. Each project encourages students to express a story or idea using their robots! The notebook breaks down the project into phases so that students can tackle the project one step at a time.

Curriculum Guide

For a limited time only, we are offering our Curriculum Guide as a free digital download!

The guide includes hints and suggested solutions for every activity in the Design Process Student Notebook. We provide solutions in Block, JavaScript, and Wonder so that you can support your students no matter what programming paradigm they choose to complete the activity.

Additionally, the guide provides best practices and implementation strategies on how to best incorporate Cue into your classroom!

Free Lesson Plans

Finally, we have 10 freelesson plans on our curriculum website.

These lessons help you introduce different coding concepts to your classroom by using our in-app content and Design Process Student Notebooks. They also delve deeper into each step of the design thinking process and introduce computing system concepts as well!

Our lessons incorporate connections to’s CS Discoveries course and are designed to meet Computer Science Teacher Association (CSTA) and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.

School Packs and More

To learn more about how you can purchase our Design Process Student Notebooks and brand-new school packs, feel free to visit our online store:

You can also get more information on the Cue Applied Robotics Curriculum Page:

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.