Image of robot with a rocket

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

Open to students of all ages.

Designs can be created using free 3D design tools from Makers Empire or simply with pen and paper.

The most creative, useful and cool designs submitted by schools in South Australia will feature in the Space to Dream public exhibition.

Take the Challenge

Design a toy or gadget for someone your age who is moving to Mars.

Use design thinking to help you:


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








Hand your finished ‘Make It!’ Student Design Record to your teacher


(ZIP file, 12MB)

Here is the Downloadable Resource Pack as a zip file.
It contains:

  1. Lesson notes F-10
  2. Curriculum links
  3. Assessment Rubrics
  4. Activity Sheets x 6
  5. PowerPoint for class

Submit your school’s TOP 3 designs

Schools can submit finished designs from up to 3 students. Schools have complete flexibility in how they decide upon the selection.

Schools can view and compare designs made with Makers Empire by their own students either (a) at the time they are created or (b) later. Where schools wish to view the designs later, schools can search via Username in the Makers Empire gallery (each student completing the Challenge will have handed up a ‘MAKE IT!’ Student Design Record which will include their Makers Empire Username they used to complete their design). Alternatively, schools that subscribe to Makers Empire will be able to access students’ designs in the Teacher’s Dashboard. Schools wishing to view and compare hand-drawn designs by their students can do so using the collected ‘MAKE IT!’ Student Design Records.


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

Top-rated designs submitted by schools in South Australia will feature in the Space to Dream public exhibition.

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

Selected designs will be on show in the Commissioner’s Virtual Gallery.

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

The registered school in South Australia submitting the overall top-rated design will win a 3D printer donated by Makers Empire.

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

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

Key Dates

31 Jan 2022


31 August 2022


Date extended due to impact of COVID-19 on Teachers and Students

30 Sep 2022

CHALLENGE Closes - Challenge Completion Forms Due Today

October 2022


November 2022


Promotional Materials

Download posters, flyers, social media assets and more to share news of the Challenge with other teachers, parents and families and students at your school:

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

Despite the continued disruption from the pandemic that we all faced in 2021, an estimated 38,000 children and young people across South Australia completed one of all three of my annual digital challenges – computational thinking (Learn to Speak Robot) design thinking (Space to Dream) and systems thinking (Zoom Out).

Our future requires bold thinkers who know how to create intelligent and out-of-the-box solutions. Young people know how crucial it is for them to acquire digital skills while they’re at school so they can be ready for the jobs of the future.

If you’re a young person, take the Challenge today! If you’re an educator, register now to get the Challenge happening at your school. If you’re a community group leader, run the Challenge in your unit. If you’re a librarian, register your library and promote the Challenge using the free posters and graphic assets supplied.

Let’s work together to encourage as many children and young people in South Australia as possible to take a journey towards digital empowerment in 2022!

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 at Fleet Space Technologies

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 making 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

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.

Commissioner for Children and Young People logo

© Commissioner's Digital Challenge
Website by Education Web Solutions

Design Thinking Schools (Design Thinking)