The sky was certainly the limit for students from Kilrush Community School when teams of transition year students from across Clare and Limerick designed, built and launched mini-satellites made in the shape of soft drink cans at the Regional final of CEIA and ESERO Ireland CanSat final held in Limerick Institute of Technology.
Kilrush Community School were announced as the overall winning team at the 2017 CanSat Regional Final and will now go on to represent Ireland at the national final which takes place in Portlaoise on April 27 and 28.
A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite in the size and shape volume 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.
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.”
Competing teams 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 Kilrush Community School 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 Discover.
“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 Dr David Sutton, Limerick Institute of Technology, Dr Eamon Connolly CEIA ” she added.
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 Discover, the education and outreach programme managed by Science Foundation Ireland.