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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

Move it!

14 September - 7 December 2020

Grab, scoop, wrap, grip and flip as you design and construct a device that can be used to pick something up and move it from one place to another - without touching it with your hands!

How far (or high) can you move these objects? And can you deliver them to some hard to reach places?

This ‘gripping’ activity invites you to follow a design process. Below are some of the questions that will help you out at each stage of the process.


Think of some solutions

  • What are some different ways to pick something up? How many can you think of?
  • What will your device be designed to move? Where will it move objects to or from?
  • What real world examples have you seen that could give you ideas? Think of how machines, animals and even the human body move things!
  • What ideas do you have for your device?

Make a prototype

  • What materials will you use to create your device?
  • How can you use the different properties of the materials in your design?
  • How can you make build parts that can move, bend or rotate?
  • How can you change your materials to make them more useful?
  • What parts of your design are you finding tricky to build? 

Test it out

  • Test out your device by trying to pick up an object (and moving it)! Where will you try to move the object to?
  • What did you observe when you tested your device?
  • Were you able to successfully move your object to a new location? 
  • Does your device look and work the way you wanted it to? Has testing it given you any other ideas?

Improve your design

  • How could you improve on your design?
  • How can you change your design to move a different object? 
  • What would happen if you used different materials, added other features or a new part?  
  • How could you change your design so you can deliver objects to or from a different place?
  • What ideas could you incorporate from someone else’s design?
  • If you were to start again what would you do the same? What would you do differently?

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

Changes have been made to our Maker Space programs. This includes increased cleaning of furniture and shared equipment, disposal of single use materials after use and changes in the way we disperse material to reduce handling. Social distancing measures will be in place in the Maker Space, so that visitors can design, make and test safely. 

Previous program ideas and resources

  • Slow it down

    22 June 2020 – 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.  

    Make a vehicle and add customised parts to your cart. Test out your cart by rolling it down a ramp and measuring how far your cart goes. Make improvements to your design, so that your cart travels an increasingly shorter distance. 

    Think about the forces involved as your cart moves along the track. Change the angle of the ramp and see what happens. 

    Set up a Slow it down Maker Space challenge at your space.

  • 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. 

    Take a seat. Set up this Maker Space prototype challenge at your space.

  • 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. 

    Create an Air Machine Maker Space activity at your space.

  • 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