A free Design Thinking Challenge

Image of robot with a rocket

Open to children and young people in South Australia (under 18 years)


Check out the places to take part outside of school.

Even if you are taking part in the Challenge at your school, you are welcome to complete the Challenge outside of school too. You can take the Challenge as many times as you like.


Follow the five steps of design thinking to design a toy or gadget for someone your age who is moving to Mars. 

Spend as long as you like to get your design how you want it to be – take the Challenge in 30 minutes, hours, days, weeks, even months – the choice is completely yours.


Make sure to submit your design by 25 September 2020!

Congratulations – you’ve completed the Challenge.

If you haven’t already, check out the Learn to Speak Robot Challenge that teaches digital thinking.

You are challenged to design a toy or gadget for someone your age who is moving to Mars.

You will use the five steps of design thinking – because design thinking can help you to solve any problem.


TIP: click on each planet to explore the design thinking process and complete the Challenge!







It’s time to submit your design!

Make sure to submit your design by 25 September 2020!

Congratulations – you’ve completed the Space to Dream Challenge for 2020!

If you haven’t already, check out the Learn to Speak Robot Challenge which is all about digital thinking.

Please refer to the Full Terms and Conditions for more information.

Recognition and Rewards

Photo of our rewards (drone, website, etc.)

Children of South Australia design the future in a public exhibition at MOD.

The best designs (as judged by the Commissioner) will be featured in a public exhibition at MOD Museum of Discovery. 3D designs will be 3D printed remotely and drawings will be printed and displayed.

Selected designs submitted by schools will be featured in the Commissioner’s Virtual Gallery.

Every child completing the Challenge earns a Space to Dream Certificate of Achievement from the Commissioner.


Photo of our rewards (drone, website, etc.)


Girl Guides and Scouts in South Australia who complete the Challenge automatically qualify for the exclusive ‘Space to Dream’ embroidered badge (pictured).

*Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to the Full Terms and Conditions for more information.

Key Dates

28 Jan 2020


25 Sep 2020

CHALLENGE Closes - Challenge Completion Forms Due Today

October 2020


November 2020

Exhibition OF WINNING DESIGNS at MOD Museum of Discovery

Image of robot lifting weights


A range of free resources, videos, materials and challenges to take you further on your digital learning journey.

Photo of Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia

Commissioner's Message

Last year 217 schools, 31 libraries and an estimated 19,026 children got on board with my Learn to Speak Robot Challenge.

Learn to Speak Robot will run each year and I am also introducing my brand new design thinking challenge – Space to Dream.

Space to Dream is all about learning to be an effective and creative problem solver. Down the track, systems thinking, digital literacy and digital citizenship themed-challenges will join the mix.

Our future requires bold thinkers who know how to create out-of-the-box solutions – so let’s encourage as many children and young people in South Australia as possible to take a journey towards digital empowerment with my Digital Challenge in 2020.

I can’t wait to see all of your amazing, beautiful, funny, sunny, inspiring, useful and ground-breaking Space to Dream designs later this year!

Helen Connolly

Commissioner for Children and Young People, South Australia


Pamela Melroy

Pamela Melroy

Director, Space Technology and Policy, Nova Systems I Former NASA Astronaut and Space Mission Commander

Design thinking is extremely empowering when you realise that once you’ve learned a process for thinking things through, there’s no problem you can’t solve.

Mark Sparvell

Mark Sparvell

Education Leader at Microsoft Worldwide

Design thinking guides learners to create compelling solutions for real or meaningful problems. I love the way Space to Dream seamlessly folds both empathy and experimentation into the learning. To solve a problem we simply must understand its impact and the potential impact of the solution. Learning is a profoundly social engagement and at its deepest level, brings purpose and passion together. We all need ‘space to dream’, to imagine possibilities, iterate, co-create and think-out-loud together. Technology can be levered to extend and amplify design thinking.

Mandi Dimitriadis

Mandi Dimitriadis

Director of Learning at Makers Empire

Design Thinking is one of the best tools we can equip young people with to make sure they are ready to solve problems and address challenges in their futures. Design thinking is a human-centered process which gives us the creative confidence to imagine a better world and to seize opportunities to use our skills to help others. I can’t wait to see the innovations and creative inventions young people come up with when given the ‘space to dream’.

Dr David Haley

Dr David Haley

Co-founder and CTO at Myriota

Space to Dream helps young people learn how to use design thinking to solve out of this world problems⁠. It’s a great way for young people to start thinking about the opportunities and challenges space brings—which is important, as we depend on space technologies every day. Here in South Australia, we are at the epicentre of the rapidly expanding Australian space industry. By the time a Reception-aged child leaves school, jobs in the space industry are expected to have tripled!

Flavia Nardini

Flavia Nardini

Co-Founder and CEO Fleet Space Technologies ǀ Rocket Scientist

Design thinking is the process of where all great ideas have a beginning.  It enables everyone of all ages to have a starting point and to grow the idea into a product – the idea becomes tangible and solid so that we can use it to make our lives easier.  The ‘space to dream’ initiative is super interesting as it gives children a platform to experiment and turn their dreams into realities.

The Commissioner's Digital Challenge is

proudly supported by

Makers Empire logo
Musuem of Discovery logo
Myriota logo
VEX Robotics
Microsoft logo
Australian Information Industry Association logo
EWS - Education Web Solutions logo
Grok Learning logo
Public Libraries Service of South Australia
Scouts logo
Girl Guides logo
Children’s University logo
Australian Computing Academy logo
National Computer Science School logo
The Hartley Institute logo
Digital Technologies Hub
CS Unplugged logo
MakeCode logo
Computer Science Education Research Group logo
Code Club Australia logo
Code Like a Girl logo
Advanced Technology Program
Onkaparinga Libraries logo
Acknowledgement of Country

We respectfully acknowledge and celebrate the Traditional Owners of the lands throughout South Australia and we pay our respects to their Elders – and to past, present and future generations of their children and young people.

Commissioner for Children and Young People logo

© Commissioner's Digital Challenge
Website by Education Web Solutions

Design Thinking Outside Schools