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Webinar – Inspiring STEM Learning for Young Girls: Tips from Research and the Classroom

Apr 29, 2019

Why are women underrepresented in fields like computer science and engineering? When (and how) should educators focus on piquing the interest of girls in these fields? These are the questions that educator Kim Collazo and researcher Amanda Sullivan have dedicated their careers to answering. Register for Wonder Workshop’s upcoming webinar to hear how two women inspire their communities to confront this gender disparity head-on and make a lasting change in education and beyond.

Our Stories

Meet Kim

Kim Collazo Headshot

My name is Kim Collazo and I have a passion for integrating the engineering design process and STEM activities into my students’ daily lives! A classroom teacher for more than twenty-five years, I have always looked for ways for my students to leverage technology to create rather than just consume. Four years ago I joined our team of Digital Integration Facilitators, and became immersed in the outstanding robotics and engineering program that our county provides for students Pre-K to 12th grade.

At Robbins Elementary, I teach STEM classes to all of our Pre-K through 5th grade students. I create engineering and coding lessons, co-teach, and provide professional development to help teachers seamlessly integrate various technology into the curriculum. We continue to convert our old computer lab into a wonderful STEM lab filled with robots, Virtual Reality, 3D printing, and other hands-on tools that help us address the curriculum and prepare our students for the future.

Our population is diverse and many of our students are just learning English. In addition to seeking the best ways to meet the needs of all students, I have always been interested in changing the perceptions and opportunities for our girls when it comes to STEM. I am dedicated to creating programs and activities that are helping all of our students, but especially our girls, develop the self-assuredness that they can become anything they want to be!

Meet Amanda

Amanda Sullivan Headshot

My name is Amanda Sullivan and I’m passionate about designing technologies and STEM curriculum for young children. I’m the Associate Director of the Early Childhood Technology program at Tufts University, where I work with educators from around the world on how to teach technology and engineering in developmentally appropriate and playful ways. I’m also a post-doctoral researcher at the Devtech Research Group, where I investigate gender differences in children’s experiences with robotics. In my new book, Breaking the STEM Stereotype: Reaching Girls in Early Childhood I discuss how to boost girls’ confidence and interest in STEM.

My research is inspired by my own childhood. Growing up, I heard things like, “your brother is better at math because he’s a boy.” I remember sweaty palms and anxiety in my STEM classes. I never learned about female engineers or scientists. It wasn’t until adulthood that I discovered I could code, solder, and assemble robots- who knew?! More importantly, I gained confidence in myself and realized (for the first time) I was able to master technical skills. Nobody should wait as long as I did for that realization! I want girls – and all children –  to be encouraged to pursue any passion and to believe in their ability to succeed.

Join the Conversation

Girls programming a Dash robot

Beginning in kindergarten, educators can ensure that children of any gender or background are given equal access to STEM. Not sure where to start? In this webinar we will share curriculum and research-based tips to transform your teaching. We’ll discuss new technologies and teaching strategies (including no-tech approaches!) that will inspire, excite, and engage the next generation of female scientists and engineers.

Watch this edWebinar on demand!

Find more resources for inspiring STEM learning.


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.