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Imagine and design solutions to challenging questions posed at the Maker Space. Make your creation from a range of materials provided and test out your design. Share your thinking with others and build on each other’s ideas.

Current Maker Space Activity

Slow it down 

22 June – 13 September 2020

How slow can you go? Design a way to slow down a speeding cart before it reaches the end of the track.

This activity invites you to follow a design process as you build features onto a wooden cart to slow it down. Below are some of the questions that will help you at each stage of the process.

Think of some solutions

  • How does the cart move along the track? 
  • What forces might be slowing it down already?
  • What are some real-world examples of ways we can slow things down?
  • What materials are available to you? How do they feel and what can they do?
  • What ideas do you have for slowing down the cart? 

Make a prototype

  • What materials will you use to create you design?
  • How will you attach your designs to your cart?
  • Where on the cart, will you attach your designs and why?
  • What part of the design are you finding tricky to build? 

Test it out

  • Test your cart out by rolling it down the ramp. What did you observe? 
  • Did your cart stop before it reached the end of the track? How far did it travel? 
  • Did anything unexpected happen when you tested your cart? 
  • What part of your design worked really well? 

Improve your design

  • How could you improve on your design?
  • What would happen if you used different materials or added a new part?
  • What ideas could you incorporate from someone else’s design?
  • If you started again, what would you do differently? What would you do the same?

This activity supports the key learning areas of Science and Design & Technology, in the Australian Curriculum.

Previous program ideas and resources

  • Take a seat

    16 December 2019 – 29 March 2020

    Fold, cut, roll and join! How will you change cardboard to make a mini chair? Be a designer and create a simple prototype using a range of different repurposed materials. 

    Consider who your chair is for and what they need this chair to do. Use a toy or small manikin as a character for testing. As you design your chair, think about strong shapes, structure, movable parts and stability. 

  • Air Machines

    17 September – 15 December 2019

    Push, pull, lift and tilt! Add parts to an air powered machine. What will you make the machine do? Use two 10 ml syringes and plastic tubing to create a pneumatic system. When you push on one syringe plunger, the air pressure inside the system will cause the plunger in the other syringe to move. Add parts to your movable plungers. What will you make your air powered machine do? Add more their one pneumatic system into your machine. 

  • Land sailing rovers

    24 June 2019 - 16 September 2019

    How far will your wind-powered vehicle travel down a test track? Make a vehicle and create a customised mast and sail. Use a fan to propel your rover through some all-terrain challenges, such as different surfaces, ramps and bridges.

    Consider the properties of different materials and whether you need your mast and sail to be light or heavy, strong, rigid or flexible. Think about the forces involved as your rover moves forward.

    Set up a Land sailing rovers Maker Space activity at your space.

  • Shake it up

    Maker Space Shake it Up

    4 April 2019 - 23 June 2019

    Can your structure survive the power of an earthquake? Make and test your custom-built design to see if they survive the destructive force of the quake. Consider the different properties of the materials you are using and whether it is better for your structure to be light or heavy, strong, rigid or flexible? What happens if the quake is quite strong or you add multi-levels or weights to your design?

    Set up your own Shake it up Maker Space activity at your space.

  • Can you cross it?

    17 December 2018 – 3 April 2019

    Moving something across town, over the river, up the mountain or across the valley takes some thought. Build a structure to help move something light or heavy between two parts of the landscape. Consider materials, strong shapes and the size and weight of your object. Your landscape can be made using boxes or furniture and have parts that are of different heights and different width spans.

    Can you cross it? Set up this Maker Space challenge at your space.

  • Zip to it

    17 September 2018 – 16 December 2018

    This tricky terrain is a breeze if you slide or roll down a zip line. Make a device that transports a person or object safely along a zip line. Zip lines can be made from different types of thread, cord or line, set up at different angles and have different lengths. 

    Set up your Zip to it Maker Space activity at your space. Watch our design challenge video and download the resource