Mini guide to running a program at your library

Sarah Roberts, Library Officer with Onkaparinga Libraries Digital Literacy, has prepared this Mini-Guide.

Photo of Sarah Roberts Library Officer, Onkaparinga Libraries

Sarah Roberts, Library Officer with Onkaparinga Libraries Digital Literacy, has prepared this Mini-Guide.


Children are challenged to design a toy or gadget for a child their age who is moving to Mars.

They will use the famous 5-step process used by the best engineers and designers around the world called ‘Design Thinking’ to help them create their design.

Children can either:

Create their design using the free 3D design tools (freely available to members of the public, libraries and community groups) from Makers Empire. No special 3D printing equipment is required.


Hand-draw their design onto the ‘MAKE IT! Design Sheet.

Finished designs are to be submitted to the Commissioner using the online Challenge Completion Form.

The designs selected by the Commissioner will feature in a public exhibition.

Check out the overview of Frequently Asked Questions for a printable overview of the steps involved.


Choose to run the challenge as part of any weekly after school sessions you already run, or run them as a school holiday activity.

The Challenge commences on 31 January 2022 and closes on 30 September 2022. All programs need to take place within this period.

Programs can be offered in the Term 1 or Term 2 school holidays or after school.


If you decide to run a program, make sure to register your library here to ensure your library shows up as taking part.


1. Access to computer or device with internet connection:

Children work their way through the 5 steps of the design thinking process using this website and will be asked to submit an online Challenge Completion Form at the end of the Challenge, so will require access to a laptop or PC with internet connection.

At steps 4 and 5 of the process, children will build / draw a ‘prototype’ of their design and test their design by asking other children what they think of it. Children have the option to create their design using free 3D design tools from Makers Empire or to draw their design.

2.  Children using the free 3D design tools to create their design will need access to a computer or device with the free software from Makers Empire downloaded:

Children choosing to use the free 3D design tools from Challenge partner Makers Empire will need access to a computer or device with the free software downloaded. Libraries are invited to download the free version of Makers Empire.

3. Children drawing their design will need one or more printed ‘MAKE IT!’ Design Sheets, black pens, coloured pens, crayons or pencils (optional) and access to a scanner:

Children who wish to hand-draw their design will require a printed MAKE IT!’ Design Sheet on which they will draw their design. Once the child is happy with their design, this sheet is to be scanned and uploaded to the Challenge Completion Form.

TIP: Although not necessary, libraries may wish to also provide a ‘MAKE IT!’ Design Sheet to children using the free 3D design tools as it can be a handy record when it comes time to complete the Challenge Completion Form and a good place for the child to record their Makers Empire Username.

Libraries running programs may also wish to provide pencils and scrap paper for all children taking part to sketch out practice designs.

Libraries may also like to arrange for a staff member to walk around giving positive encouragement and helping with any technical issues and to fill out the form once a child has completed their design.

Check out the overview of Frequently Asked Questions for a printable overview of the steps involved.


Children who submit their designs with the support of their local library are eligible to be selected for the annual Space to Dream Exhibition. They will also be in the running for one of 5 VEX GO Robots (suitable for children in Years 3-5) reserved for entries received via libraries. 


How to complete the Challenge

The website takes the child through the five steps of design thinking to help them do this.


Once they are happy with their design each child will submit their design to the Commissioner using the online Challenge Completion Form.

OPTION 1 - If you used the free 3D design tools from Makers Empire to create your design:

Step 1. Give your design the title SPACE TO DREAM so the Commissioner can find it in the Makers Empire gallery.
This is how the Commissioner will be able to know who created which designs!

OPTION 2 - If you drew your design onto the 'MAKE IT! Design Sheet:

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.
Scan your completed 'MAKE IT!' Design Sheet. Make sure your scan is the right way up and even and clear - as selected designs will be printed and publicly exhibited!


Email address needed to send your Certificate of Achievement
If you are a Scout or Guide you qualify for the exclusive 'Space to Dream' embroidered badge. You will be sent more information when submitting this form.
[select any that apply]


* The Commissioner will look at your design. Selected designs will be made famous at a public exhibition at the Space to Dream public exhibition! Featured designs will also show up in the Commissioner’s Virtual Gallery. Once you submit your design you will be sent a Certificate of Achievement.

The Commissioner's Digital Challenge is

proudly supported by

Australian Space Agency logo
Makers Empire logo
VEX Robotics
Coding in Minecraft logo
Prodigy Learning logo
Myriota logo
Building Bots logo
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.

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© Commissioner's Digital Challenge
Website by Education Web Solutions

Design Thinking Outside Schools (Design Thinking) At the Library Guide for Libraries