Blocks Rock! Then and Now

January / 2020

A Brief History of Blocks Rock! and How Your Kids Can Be Involved in Shaping Our Future

Blocks Rock! was initially developed by students, and we’re excited to keep young minds creatively involved with our product as it grows. Made by kids, played by kids! Below, you can learn more about the history of Blocks Rock! and see how your students can be a part of taking Blocks Rock! into the future.

Beginning at Wilbraham & Monson Academy

In 2005, a team of middle school students (Ashley Dorst, Victoria Mordasky, Eric Ostrom and Adrianne Hanson, nicknamed “Santa’s Elves”) from the Wilbraham & Monson Academy (WMA) participated in a national toy design competition. After much hard work, Santa's Elves presented their idea, Blocks Rock!, and received an honorable mention from the judges.

After the toy competition, the WMA high school entrepreneurship class decided to adopt Blocks Rock! as its class project, with the goal of making the game into a real business. Over the next few years, this class developed the first marketing and production of Blocks Rock!

In 2008, Jim LaCrosse, WMA alumnus (Class of 1950) and serial entrepreneur, noticed the work of the entrepreneurship class and took an interest in the game as an educational tool. He proposed a joint effort to take Blocks Rock! to the next level, and that’s where we, the current Blocks Rock! team, came into the picture.

A New Way to Involve Students

Since Jim LaCrosse acquired the game, Blocks Rock! has evolved in aesthetics, function, and accessibility. We have sold thousands of games in all fifty United States, fostered relationships with hundreds of schools, and broadened our reach internationally as well. In addition, the wooden block quality has been improved, and dozens upon dozens of new and more difficult structures have been added with more on the way!

We’ve transformed the packaging from a simple box to a durable, kid-friendly zippered carrying case to provide easy storage and fun mobility. In 2016, an Indiana University study used Blocks Rock! in a comprehensive MRI-based experiment to show that block-building games are particularly strong tools to develop higher spatial reasoning abilities.

In 2017, we developed a free 3D Companion App with the most challenging patterns yet. Internally, our team has grown to nearly twenty, and together we’ve searched for innovative ways to engage our community of online educators, afterschool providers, and parents.

But at its core, the essentials remain the same.

We continue to focus on ways to empower students to grow through innovative thinking, STEM learning… and non-stop play.

That’s why this year we launched the Blocks Rock! 3D App Design Competition. There is currently an open invitation to the next generation of innovators and thinkers to participate in creating the next Blocks Rock! designs that will come to life within the app, if chosen.

Blocks Rock! started at the hands of WMA students, was taken on and fostered by a WMA alumnus, and now we want to open it up to all students to be a part of this process of play and creation. Click here to learn more about the 3D App Design Competition. We look forward to seeing your entries!