Teams of senior cycle students from across Ireland designed, built and launched mini-satellites in the shape of a soft drink can at the national final of ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) Ireland and CEIA CanSat Final held in Birr Castle, Co. Offaly. A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite in the size and shape of a soft drink can and is a European Space Agency initiative designed to inspire young people to pursue a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the availability of a highly qualified workforce in the space industry of the future.
Confey College, Kildare were announced as the overall winning team at the 2016 CanSat National Final and will now go on to represent Ireland at the European final which takes place in Portugal from the 22 to 26 June 2016.
Speaking at the event said Dr. Eamon Connolly, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Promotion Officer, CEIA – Cork’s Technology Network – said: “CanSat is a unique space project that simulates a real satellite which fits into the volume of a soft drinks can – students launch their own satellite and get first-hand practical experience of a real space project. This initiative is designed to encourage and excite transition year students as to the possibilities of a career in science and engineering.”
Teams from Dunmore Community School, Galway; Glanmire Community College, Co. Cork; St. Josephs College, Borrisoleigh, Co. Tipperary; Coláiste Chiaráin, Co. Limerick; Confey College, Kildare; Belvedere College, Dublin and Marist College Athlone were all competing for a place at the European Final. Each team had to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite to their CanSat including power, sensors and communications – and provide a parachute to ensure the can had a gentle landing.
“I would like to congratulate Confey College on their achievement, but I would also like to acknowledge the hard-work and dedication shown by our other finalists – each team did a fantastic job, the quality of the work this year was incredible,” said Stephanie O’Neill, ESERO Ireland Manager, Science Foundation Ireland.
“I would like to thank the individual team mentors who worked tirelessly with the teams in the run up to the final, and I would also like to thank our judges Neil Murray, Design Engineer at ESA/ESTEC, and Dr Niall Smith Cork Institute of Technology,” she added.
There are five regional partners including Athlone Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, and Limerick Institute of Technology.
The competition is a joint collaboration between ESERO Ireland and the CEIA and is co-funded by the European Space Agency and Science Foundation Ireland.
Students will be using the Science Foundation Ireland #ScienceRising at the event, the new hashtag is being used to highlight areas of scientific and innovative excellence on a monthly basis, beginning in April with the exciting world of Technology.