Wonder Workshop Pledges Funds to Teachers’ Coding Instruction

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Dollar-for-dollar match through DonorsChoose.org brings Dash & Dot robots to classrooms teaching computational thinking in underserved communities

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“We want to enable teachers who are passionate about giving their students opportunities in a rapidly changing world.” – Vikas Gupta, CEO of Wonder Workshop

In the coming years, computer science education will be critical for social mobility of underprivileged communities. However, access to tools and opportunities for schools in these communities is a matter of the right financial support. Wonder Workshop aims to bridge this gap with its dollar-for-dollar match program for Dash & Dot projects through DonorsChoose.org.

Wonder Workshop will match one dollar for every dollar donated towards funding projects that bring the Dash & Dot robots to schools in need. “This is one small attempt on our behalf to narrow the opportunity gap for underserved communities,” said Vikas Gupta, CEO of Wonder Workshop. “We want to enable teachers who are passionate about giving their students opportunities in a rapidly changing world.”

Dash & Dot are robots with personality and capability. Over 600 elementary schools have purchased the robots for use in their curricula since Dash & Dot started shipping in January 2015. Students use touch applications to program the robots to detect the environment around them using sensors and respond with motion, sound and expressions. Pre-assembled and designed for ease of use, Dash & Dot, their apps, and step-by-step lesson plans help educators seamlessly add coding into curriculum.

“Dash & Dot were a great addition to our Innovations Curriculum,” said Janelle Groehler, a teacher from Rochester, Minnesota who successfully funded a DonorsChoose.org project. “The first and second graders were immediately engaged. Dash & Dot brought out the creativity, ingenuity and problem-solving in my students, all while teaching them how to code.”

There are currently 42 requests on DonorsChoose.org for Dash & Dot robots, and there have already been more than 50 projects successfully funded through DonorsChoose.org. Applicants must choose Wonder Workshop as a special request vendor to qualify for the matching program. Because Wonder Workshop seeks to support schools in underserved communities, the company will prioritize funding projects that are in high-poverty schools.

Wonder Workshop is also working with Pencils of Promise, an organization founded in 2008 with the goal of increasing access to quality education for children in the developing world. Pencils of Promise works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide educational opportunities for children, no matter where they were born or what resources they have. For every purchase of a Dash robot, Wonder Workshop will donate one dollar to Pencils of Promise. “We seek ways to have an impact on children's lives that goes beyond coding,” Gupta said. “We arrived at our partnership with Pencils of Promise as an answer to that quest, and we are excited to bring this to fruition.”

For press materials, please visit: https://www.makewonder.com/mediakit.

About Dash & Dot
Dash & Dot robots are hands-on learning tools for students in grades K-5. Targeted at teaching creative problem-solving and computational thinking, Dash & Dot help students learn fundamental cognitive processes relevant to all 21st-century skills that they’ll carry on throughout life.

Students can learn on their own, in pairs or in small groups. Dash & Dot are characters that ignite curiosity and confidence while providing fun and engaging ways of learning the essential skills of collaboration, communication and digital literacy. Teachers are using Wonder Workshop’s Common Core and NGSS aligned lesson plans to teach a variety of subjects, including math, science, social studies and English language arts.

Dash & Dot come with four free apps enabling students to explore a variety of learning experiences at different levels depending on their age and ability. Wonder Workshop accessories from Dash’s Xylophone to Building Brick Connectors (including LEGO™) bring endless creative possibilities, plus students can involve their existing resources around the classroom into the fun. The apps are compatible with more than 20 iOS and Android devices, including the iPad 3, iPad mini, iPad Air 1 & 2 and a variety of Nexus and Samsung Galaxy devices. Dash & Dot were winners of the Best of Show award at ISTE 2015.

About Wonder Workshop
Wonder Workshop launched Dash & Dot in December 2014 and within its first month, delivered more than $3.5M in robots to 37 countries including the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, European countries, India, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong. Based in San Mateo, CA, Wonder Workshop was founded in 2012 by Vikas Gupta, Saurabh Gupta and Mikal Greaves, inventors, designers, programmers and parents with the mission to make coding a new creative tool that is accessible for children from age five and beyond. The company has currently raised $15.9 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group, CRV, WI Harper, Google Ventures, Bright Success Capital, Maven Ventures, Vikas Gupta, Reza Hussein and Jeff Schox. For more information, visit http://www.makewonder.com.

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Saul Hafenbredl
C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.
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