Happy Father’s Day from Wonder Workshop

To all the superhero dads,

You really inspire us. And we wanted to thank you for encouraging and inspiring your kids to accomplish amazing things. To imagine, create, try hard, and blow away everyone’s expectations. Here’s a tribute to you with some of our favorite projects sent in by dads in our community. 

This Father’s Day, spend time with your child to build something special together. Tag your creations with #madewithdad when you post them to Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter!

Have a wonderful Father’s Day, 

The Wonder Workshop Team

Dash & Dot at AltSchool!

School’s out for the summer, but here at Wonder Workshop, we are in the midst of many exciting plans. During Spring 2015, Wonder Workshop had the unique opportunity to run an eight week Robot Bootcamp session at AltSchool’s Fort Mason microschool. Through March and April, the WW team introduced 8 AltSchool students ranging from ages 7-11 to Dash & Dot and programming concepts through our Blockly app. We were excited to try out project and lesson ideas in a group setting, and learned a great deal from the students in this pilot program.

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Each week’s lesson started off with the introduction of new programming concepts through an “unplugged” activity. For example, when learning about algorithm design, Grace M. (age 9) described the routine of waking up in the morning, brushing her teeth, picking out her clothes and getting ready to go to school. The kids then folded paper airplanes and played a dice game to reinforce the concept of algorithms as a set of step-by-step instructions you follow to solve a problem. Then, using Blockly, Dash & Dot, students then designed their own algorithms to accomplish a goal with the robots. Some kids created their own obstacle courses or games to play, and used Blockly to program their robots’ ways to their end goals.

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Robot Bootcamp ended with a show and tell for parents! Students showed off their new Blockly skills while solving our robot maze, using all of the knowledge they acquired during the course. We were thrilled with the results, and are excited to partner with AltSchool to conduct Robot Bootcamps in the future, rolling out to more locations this fall and throughout the school year! During the summer, our engineers and researchers will be working with AltSchool’s STEM and Maker Camps while developing new and exciting challenges and project ideas to debut this fall and beyond!
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Special thanks to Katie Gibbons, Joyce Lin-Conrad, Maria Tranquilli, and of course, the students and parents at AltSchool Fort Mason! We are thrilled to partner with an organization that believes in using technology to personalize and augment learning and to empower the creative spirit in kids. We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Dash & Dot are going to ISTE!

dash_cartDash & Dot are excited to pack their charging cables and visit Philadelphia, home of the Constitution and the cheesesteak, for ISTE! About a year ago, we hosted a small workshop for pilot teachers, and now we are in over 300 schools around the nation! The best part of the workshop was that all of the teachers got to know and inspire one another with ideas of ways to integrate coding in elementary school classrooms.

We’re bringing it back this year in Philadelphia with drinks, snacks, and robot games on Monday, June 29 at 5:30 – 7:30pm  at Charlie Was A Sinner (a few blocks away from the convention center). RSVP here to reserve your spot! We are also looking for a few teachers to host 5-minute lightning talks on a topic of your choice – integrating coding with the Common Core, getting started with Dash & Dot, or your favorite activity you planned for your students. Please email us if you’d like to be featured!

Other places you can see Dash & Dot during the conference

We hope to see you there, and we look forward to meeting you! If you are using Dash & Dot in your session and you don’t see it in the above list, please let us know too, and we’ll add it!

Presenting Robot Coding in the Tech Lab at the Children’s Creativity Museum!

It is an exciting week for us here at Wonder Workshop! Over the past several months, we have been collaborating closely with our friends at the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco. They graciously (and frequently!) hosted us for early user research that has directly informed the design of our apps, and have also generously hosted us at events like our Blockly Code Camp last fall and their own wildly successful Creativity Day back in April. We can’t thank them enough for their support and are thrilled to introduce Dash & Dot to their visitors.

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We are pleased to announce that our Robot Coding exhibit is officially opening this Saturday, June 6, in the Tech Lab on the second floor of the Children’s Creativity Museum! Meet Dash & Dot and solve mazes, create artistic masterpieces, compose melodies, and more… all while learning to code through hands-on play. The exhibit will be open to all museum visitors during their business hours (Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm all summer), and is included in the price of admission. Stay turned for special announcements about events and workshops in the Tech Lab!

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We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Education and Exhibits teams at the Children’s Creativity Museum for their limitless energy, passion, and inventiveness. We are ecstatic to be collaborating with you! FullSizeRender 7
Visiting the Robot Coding exhibit? We’d love to see what you create! Take a photo or video and tag it with #makewonder on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Introducing updates to Blockly and a mailing list for kids

A New Update to Blockly!

As part of our ongoing commitment to bring you the best experience with our apps and our Dash & Dot robots, we’ve made three key improvements to our Blockly app based on your feedback to us:

  • Sound Recording* – now you can record sounds on your tablet and use them in Dash & Dot!
  • More control on Dash’s movements – Dash can now turn in more angles and drive further with one block! Dash also knows when getting picked up or stuck.
  • Easier programming for younger learners – we’ve overhauled our controls so that now when you select a piece of code, you can visually see how it works on Dash & Dot! This is a much more intuitive way to code!

If you haven’t quite gotten to Blockly yet, please give it a try!Download the Blockly updates for iPad or Android tablets! As always, please send any feedback you have to ideas@makewonder.com.

Check out our challenge of the week involving new features in Blockly to create your own superhero robot!


Join the Wonder League!

Loving the Dash & Dot Show, programming challenge of the week, and magazine? We now have a COPPA compliant email list for kids to get all the learning and fun directly in their inbox! Sign up with your child’s email address here.

As a parent, you will always get a copy of the emails we send to them, and we will never share your child’s email address. Please email us at support@makewonder.com if you have any questions!

* Because your child’s privacy is extremely important to us, we do not save the sounds you record to our servers. Sounds are saved to your device temporarily and on your robot until you record a new sound over it. Deleted or overwritten sounds cannot be restored.

The Dash & Dot Show on YouTube and May’s Wonder Magazine

This week Dash & Dot created something very special for you with their friends, Wally and Mimi! We are excited to introduce the Dash & Dot Show! Starting this week, you’ll see new episodes of the Dash & Dot show on YouTube every 2 weeks.

Watch as the dynamic duo embark on galactic quests, become robo-rockstars for a day, strut their stuff down the catwalk at Fashion Week, compete in piggyback jousts, and more. Join in on the fun by taking on the behind-the-scenes how-tos included with each episode. Check out the trailer and watch the first two episodes on YouTube here!

The first two episodes provide everything you need to get started with using Dash & Dot. Stay tuned for more adventures to come! Watch the videos here!


May 2015 Magazine 

This month’s issue of Wonder Magazine is all about costumes and role play. From superhero masks to runway fashion, costumes are a creative way to transform your robots. Learn how to create a superhero movie, program a runway walk, and send Dash through a maze. Find out how a group of students programmed their robots to do the Mexican Hat Dance. And discover more about the new sound recording feature that lets you transfer your own voice to the robots!

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Let us know what you’d like see in future shows and magazines by emailing us at ideas@makewonder.com! As always, we are looking to feature awesome projects by the kids in our community. Email us or post on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with #makewonder!