Little Dipper Challenge

Welcome to the Little Dipper Challenge!

The ELO₂ consortium (of which One Giant Leap Australia Foundation is part of) has created a challenge for young students to learn about lunar rovers and what they are used for in anticipation of Australia’s first lunar rover – part of the Australian Space Agency’s Moon to Mars Trailblazer Initiative.

Landing an Australian rover on the lunar surface will highlight the kind of space and STEM endeavours that children can aspire to, creating a ‘where were you’ moment that hasn’t been seen since Australia played a crucial role in helping NASA bring TV images of the first Moonwalk to the world in 1969.

ELO₂ Little Dipper Challenge invites children aged 5-12 years old to experiment with common materials found at home or school in a creative project about space. The mission is to build and test a scoop, like the one that will be on the Australian lunar rover, to collect soil from the Moon.

In the challenge, kids will learn from ELO₂ engineers about the Moon’s environment and what it takes to design and test their inventions. By using everyday materials like Lego, recycled plastics, cardboard, and ice cream sticks, primary school aged children can create and test their very own scoop designs in homemade lunar regolith (Moon dust).

The goal of ELO₂, One Giant Leap Australia Foundation and the Little Dipper Challenge is to use this opportunity to capture the imagination of the Australian community and excite kids to have fun with science.

Together, our goal is to make STEM and space exploration accessible to all and to inspire Australia to get involved!


The challenge has been developed for children between the ages of 5 and 12, but all are welcome to participate.

Your mission: Using common household materials, design and construct an excavator that can move the maximum amount of lunar regolith in a two-minute period. The in-depth rules are listed on the official Little Dipper Challenge Google Classroom.

The challenge starts 13 November 2023 and ends on the 1 March 2024.

As long as the material can’t break and hurt anyone (glass, or something that has sharp edges) you can use anything, including LEGO, paddle pop sticks, cardboard, tubes, funnels, old toys. Make sure to ask an adult to help you with construction if you need to use big tools and glue.

Lunar regolith is the soil composition on the Moon’s surface. The recipe we’ll use for lunar regolith is on the official Little Dipper Challenge Google Classroom. If you can’t make lunar regolith, feel free to use sand or soil as a substitute.

Terms and Conditions

The Little Dipper Challenge has been developed for individuals in Australia, especially those between the ages of 5 and 12.

By participating in the challenge, individuals give permission for the uploaded photographs or videos taken as part of ‘The Little Dipper Challenge’, to be used now or into the future for the purposes of external communications, including advertising and marketing as well as posted on social media for ELO₂ and One Giant Leap Australia Foundation. If you do not want your photos or videos to be used for external communications, please send as email to

In submitting an entry to this challenge, you confirm:

  • Your agreement to abide by any decisions made by the challenge organisers.
  • That your submission is your original creation.
  • Your Acknowledgement that your participation does not establish any additional relationship or affiliation.
  • Your understanding that you are not entitled to any compensation or reimbursement for any incurred costs.
  • That you grant the Challenge owner ( ELO₂ and One Giant Leap Australia Foundation) the right to promote all entries, unless otherwise documented as above.

To join the Little Dipper Challenge click the link below and enter the Google Classroom key: c24s2k7

Join Google Classroom