The Newest Addition to The Woke STEM Fam: Cue, the Robot

Before you meet my new friend, Cue, have you heard of Wonder Workshop? If not, you are in for a treat! Wonder Workshop offers complete solutions for teaching coding and robotics in the classroom, giving elementary and middle schools students the opportunity to learn. What I love best about Wonder Workshop is that they provide ALL of the resources necessary to get your classroom prepared to learn coding and robotics. Wonder Workshop resources include robots, like my friend Cue, standards -based curricular resources, apps for creative coding, professional learning opportunities (to help those of us who may not be as hip to coding and robotics, but still are intrigued by it), and robotics competitions for students. With all of these resources, you will be well on your way to teaching students one of the most important skills needed for the 21st century.

Now, may I introduce my new friend, Cue!

Cue is the newest addition to Wonder Workshop. Cue comes with all of the basic tools necessary to get started, just bring your own device to connect. Luckily, Cue is compatible with a variety of devices. Once you turn Cue on, it goes through a welcome process that require a few tasks to test its sensors and microphone. Then, you have to download the Cue app to fully get started. Cue connects to the app through bluetooth. The Cue app has so many features that are user friendly and makes the coding experience exciting and fun.

Cue App Features

Avatars - Cue comes with four different avatars and each one has a unique personality. These are one of the fun components of Cue, especially for children. You can select one personality and chat via a text screen with Cue once the personality is selected.

Control - Cue has a control feature built into the app to play around with some of its sensory features. The Control mode features an on-screen joystick that allows you to move Cue around the room. You can also adjust the speed, face lights, and body lights on Cue. You can also record different sound clips to play back on Cue.

The control mode also has three different automatic modes:

Seek mode: allows Cue to lock onto a nearby object and follow it. How cool is that? Cue will follow me around like my cat!

Avoid mode: allows cue to lock onto an object and it will back away from the object.

Explore mode: allows Cue to explore the room while avoiding running into objects.

Code - The Code mode of the app is my favorite and the most useful for students learning how to, well, code! Cue allows you to switch between Block based coding and text-based coding (JavaScript). This is important for those educators who lack the fundamental JavaScript knowledge to teach students how to code. The Block based code is user friendly and makes it easier for students to understand how to create their code. The transition between the two helps translate the coding skills students are learning to real world skills that can be used in real projects. Code mode offers different challenges for students to go through, starting with something as simple as making Cue move a certain distance to making Cue say certain phrases. Students are allowed the opportunity to explore, make mistakes, and eventually learn and accomplish by doing. The lessons offer all of the typical coding components, such as events, variables, math operations, functions, and actions necessary to program Cue. The best part is that students can work on code offline to perfect their skills and then run the code when they are connected to Cue.

My suggestion for when students are coding: utilize the Code mode on a large tablet or computer screen. The Code mode on the app for phones has a limited screen size, so it can be difficult to drag things around when attempting to code. I accidentally deleted code a few times because of my screen size issues. I eventually switched to the app on my laptop and had plenty of space to see everything.

Accessories

Cue comes with a variety of cool accessories and extensions so that it can do more than simply moved around and talk. I have had the opportunity to use the sketch pack. The pack comes with dry-erase markers, an eraser, a large dry-erase sketchpad that can be placed on the floor, and an attachment for Cue. With the sketchpad kit, students can program Cue to create all kinds of masterpieces. There are some programs built into the app to provide examples of how Cue can draw different shapes, words, and pictures. In the video below, I programmed Cue to draw a square once Cue heard the sound of my voice. Cue also has other extensions such as a gripper to pick up objects and a blaster power to shoot small

Cue draws a square

Curriculum

Wonder Workshop offers a Learning to Code curriculum, an Applied Robotics curriculum, and cross-curricular activities. The Applied Robotics curriculum is my favorite because it offers extensive lesson plans with aligned standards, materials, and walks you through the entire process of how to implement the lessons in the classroom. The Applied Robotics curriculum shows students how to go through the creative writing process that will ultimately bring them to a point of creating something innovative. Each of the three units is designed to allow students to gradually build upon an idea and execute that idea through coding with Cue. My favorite unit is the Game Design unit. Students are able to design a game and program Cue to participate in the game with them.

Professional Development

Wonder Workshop offers professional development tools to help educators transition into how to use Cue in the classroom. I was able to complete the “Introduction to Coding and Robotics with Cue” course. The course was a six module course that provided a great foundation on the history of educational technology in the classroom, explained the need for computer science in schools, and provided information about the major structural components of Cue. I love that the course focused on gaining an understanding of educational technology and how teachers are incorporating different types of technology in the classroom, beyond Cue. They introduced different tools that can be used in conjunction with Cue. The course provided videos, links to other digital technology, and an interactive experience. The course was definitely a cool way to get started understanding how educational technology is used in the classroom and expanding on that by using Cue.

Want a Cue of your own? Here’s your chance!

With so many jam packed features and with the ever-growing need for students with coding skills , Cue should be used in classrooms across the world. Are you interested in trying out one of Wonder Workshops many robots? The Wonder Workshop is giving away TWO FREE prize packs that you can try out for yourselves!

Are you an elementary teacher?

The Elementary Wonder Pack: Comes with Wonder’s award-winning Dash and Dot robots, accessories, and curriculum guides. Accessories, like a Xylophone, Launcher, Building Brick Connectors, Sketch Kit, and an Accessories Kit, all help students use their imagination and problem solve. Plus, it includes a one-year subscription to Wonder’s Digital Activities Library for more project ideas. New and included in the Elementary Pack: The Gripper Building Kit an easy-to-build set of functioning arms that expand your robot’s literal reach—and potential!

Or how about middle school?


The Middle School Wonder Pack: This bundle will encourage design thinking with its two (2) award-winning Cue robots and the new Gripper Building Kit. Also, notebooks for creative writing, game design, and innovation. Plus, a one-year subscription to Wonder’s Digital Activities Library for more skill building for middle school students. New and included for the Middle School Pack: The Gripper Building Kit and the new Blaster Power for Cue (above) bring the fun as a motorized projectile-launching accessories!

Enter the giveaway here by August 14, 2019, 11:59PM Central Standard Time!