Build robots, collect resources, and master STEM skills in the solar system

Title screen of Jet's Bot Builder Game

Ready Jet Go! is a popular PBS KIDS animated series that introduces children to astronomy, science, and engineering. DEPT® served as a digital partner for PBS KIDS and Wind Dancer Films during the show’s two-season run. Our collaboration reached new heights with one of our most ambitious games to date: Jet’s Bot Builder.

Mixing fun and foundational skills

In today’s digitally-driven society, it’s never been more important to foster traits like curiosity, wonder, problem-solving, and decision-making in children. These characteristics provide a critical foundation for learning, especially when it comes to STEM subjects, or science, technology, engineering, and math.

Early STEM education has been found to improve children’s critical thinking skills, positively shape their approach to learning, and boost confidence. But perhaps even more importantly, it sets children up for success in our modern world — one in which the workforce and economy is increasingly reliant on STEM-based industries.

Of course, sitting down young kids with a problem set and calculator or a lab report and highlighter isn’t a practical way to introduce STEM concepts. So, DEPT®, Wind Dancer Films, and PBS KIDS, along with adaptive learning organization Enlearn, set out on a mission to create an adaptive gaming environment that was both fun and an immersive STEM-forward learning experience. By bringing in familiar characters like Jet and friends, kids can lose themselves in the engaging extension of Ready Jet Go!’s universe — AKA our solar system — while exploring valuable STEM concepts along the way.

Steering STEM education through the stars

Designed for kids ages three through eight, Jet’s Bot Builder enables them to craft and build a robot to travel through space with Jet and friends, while collecting tools, building new parts, and swapping them around to find the best way to solve each level. The game reflects its namesake PBS KIDS TV show, adapting its visuals, characters, and humor to recreate a detailed and familiar environment kids are excited to explore.

While players navigate through the increasingly challenging levels, they also encounter lessons integrated throughout the game designed to teach them about the various planets and moons in our solar system. As kids iteratively improve their unique bot throughout their space adventure, they also explore a variety of celestial bodies, learning about distinctive characteristics and features in a fresh and stimulating way.

Using HTML5, DEPT® built this level-based game to adapt to the individual child’s progress, enabling them to learn STEM concepts and space science at a pace that suits them. Jet’s Bot Builder is a free cross-platform game available on desktop, iOS, Android, Amazon, and via the PBS KIDS Games app.

Blasting off from planet Bortron 7

Since Jet’s Bot Builder was launched into the atmosphere — or gaming marketplace — it has received praise for its engaging blend of robot customization and space missions. Parents and children alike have delighted in the astronomy and science lessons as well as the exciting, puzzle-like levels that lean into critical thinking and problem solving. Accolades and praise for the game include:

  • 2019 Parent’s Choice Silver Award 
  • Spotlighted as the feature game during PBS Kids presentation on adaptive games at the 2019 ED Games Expo at the Kennedy Center
  • Praise from Common Sense Media, highlighting the game’s “perfect balance between the overbearing helpfulness that some kids’ games employ and the hands-off approach of games for adults and older kids.”


Managing Director DEPT®/Family & Kids

Joey Egger

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Prudence Foundation