11 August




1 hour


Primary students


Their Excellencies the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd), Governor‑General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and Mrs Hurley share activities from Questacon's Engineering is Elementary program. Use the engineering design process to build windmills and discover how mechanical engineering will power future industries.

The Governor-General's Design Challenge is fun for learners of all ages but best suited for primary school students.

Governor General Design Challenge

Things to know

Engineering is Elementary was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston, and has been adapted for Australian educators by Questacon supported by Diamond Partner, The Australian Defence Force.

If you have any questions about the design challenge or Engineering is Elementary, please email teachers@questacon.edu.au or visit our Engineering is Elementary page.

You'll need

Activity 1: Exploring mechanisms

  • Card stock
  • Tape
  • Paper clips
  • Split pins
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

Activity 2: Build and test a windmill

  • Fan/hairdryer (optional)
  • Paper/cardboard
  • Cotton reels/bobbins (optional)
  • Paper cups
  • Straws
  • Skewers
  • Tape, Blu-Tack
  • Scissors
  • String
  • Weights (marbles, bolts/nuts, rocks)

Photo of the finished windmill