Now in its third year, the Commissioner’s Space to Dream Challenge supports students to learn design thinking skills and apply them to the design of a toy or gadget for someone their age who is ‘moving to Mars’.
Top rated designs from The Commissioner’s 2022 Space to Dream Exhibition are on display in the Endeavour Room at the Australian Space Discovery Centre, McEwin Building at Lot Fourteen until Friday 20 January 2023. The exhibition features 20 designs chosen from more than 92 entries received from 32 schools across the State with an estimated 12,000 South Australian students who completed the Space to Dream Challenge this year.
Caley in Year 4 at Bellevue Heights Primary School has taken out the grand prize this year winning a 3D Printer for their school donated by Challenge Partners, Makers Empire. Caley’s Robot Pet was selected by the Commissioner as the highest ranked design for 2022 for its caring nature. Caley says, “Designed to comfort people who like pets, it gives them a way to communicate with people back on Earth. It can also heat itself to warm people up”.
Students at Bellevue Heights Primary School shared the following feedback about using Makers Empire:
Caley’s proud teacher, Steve Malley, said, “When I entered the class into the competition, I really did not expect this wonderful outcome as there are so many talented students out there! I have been teaching for over 35 years and would never have expected to teach students a design process with the possibility of actually printing their ideas into a 3D model! With that in mind I am quite excited to see how technology changes and challenges students in the near and far future, simply amazing!”
The Jokemeter 2000 – “(It) tells you jokes when you’re sad or scared, as well as if there’s something dangerous coming,”
Henry, Year 3, Bellevue Heights Primary School.
The Ball – “A ball that is very useful and also has a lot of entertaining things. The camera is used for taking photos to make memories. The airtube is for oxygen for if you run out. The basketball, uno cards and iPad is to keep you entertained when you are bored,”
Airlie, Grange Primary School.
Skatercat – “It’s shaped like a cat because cats are very curious and love to explore. It makes a great travelling companion with a space in his head to keep stuff and an outer squish mallow layer that’s soft and squishy for hugs when you get anxious,”
Belle, Year 4, Glenelg Primary.
The Commissioner’s Space to Dream Challenge was devised to inspire the next generation of South Australian space entrepreneurs and innovators. By exhibiting the top-rated Space to Dream designs at the Australian Space Discovery Centre children can more easily make the connection between their interests and skills, and how these might lead to a career within the Space industry. You can view all the 2022 winners.
In 2023, the Commissioner’s Space to Dream Exhibition will tour to 18 metropolitan and regional centres and libraries across Adelaide, as well as to community venues in Mount Gambier, Port Broughton, Hawker, Peterborough, Whyalla, Barmera, KI and Murray Bridge, to name a few.
Helen Connolly, Commissioner for Children and Young People said, “Every year I’m excited to see what students come up with. They always surprise me which makes it difficult to select which entries will be featured in the annual exhibition and awarded prizes. I found it interesting this year that there was such a strong focus on designs providing toys or gadgets that cared for children rather than those of previous years which did practical things, or which entertained.”
Mandi Dimitriadis, Director of Learning, Makers Empire said, “I am amazed to see the innovative and thoughtful ideas that young people have come up with again this year. When you give young people the tools and opportunities they do amazing things. Makers Empire is proud of our ongoing partnership with the Commissioner for Children and Young People and the opportunities it brings for young people to develop important design thinking skills, empathy for others, and excitement about the space industry.”
The Commissioner’s Digital Challenge is a free, recurring, year-round Challenge which runs from January to September each year, has been designed to ensure core ideas integral to digital empowerment are taught in fun and interactive ways, supporting students, teachers, schools, libraries, and community groups to participate with ease. It is made available FREE via a dedicated website – Commissioner’s Digital Challenge – where hundreds of digital activities curated with input from some of Australia’s (and the world’s) leading digital industry players can be accessed with ease.