Student finalists in Ireland CanSat launched mini satellites from waste drink cans

Creative students have designed, built, and launched mini satellites from waste drink cans.

Student finalists in Ireland CanSat launched mini satellites from waste drink cans

Teams of transition year pupils competed at the regional final of Ireland CanSat, organised by Cork technology network CEIA and the European Space Education Resource Office.

Glanmire Community College, whose team comprised Adam Murphy, James O’Shaughnessy, and Daniel Pogosyan, was the overall winner and progresses to represent Cork schools at a national final in Birr Castle next week.

The outright winner goes forward to a European event.

Dr Eamon Connolly, promotion officer for electrical and electronic engineering at CEIA, 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.”

St Brogan’s, Bandon, and Coláiste an Chraoibhín in Fermoy also competed.

Each CanSat was required to measure the air pressure and air temperature after release and during descent; teams had to display the data collected in a graph and present their results to judges.

Each team also 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.

Students from Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy, also competed in the regional final: Leigha Aherne, Seamus Shealy, Mary Sheehan, and Joe Steele. Picture: Gerard McCarthy
Students from Coláiste an Chraoibhín, Fermoy, also competed in the regional final: Leigha Aherne, Seamus Shealy, Mary Sheehan, and Joe Steele. Picture: Gerard McCarthy

Valerie Cowman of CEIA said: “The quality of the work this year was incredible. I would like to thank the individual mentors who worked tirelessly with the teams in the run up to the final.”

Glanmire Community College principal Pat McKelvey said it “is proud of the achievement of our students in winning the regional final of the CanSat competition.

“The school places huge emphasis on the promotion of the Stem subjects and the development of a skills-based approach to learning.

“We want to wish James, Adam, and David the best of luck in the national final. Their success will, no doubt, encourage younger students to challenge themselves in this area in the future.”

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