WATCH: Kildare students launch satellites to secure place in European competition

A team of secondary students from Kildare will be representing Ireland at a European space competition this summer.

Confey College, Kildare were announced as the overall winning team at the 2016 CanSat National Final after teams of senior cycle students from across Ireland designed, built and launched mini-satellites at the CanSat final, which was 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. CanSat a European Space Agency initiative designed to inspire young people to pursue a career in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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.

The project aims to ensure the availability of a highly qualified workforce in the space industry in the future.

“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," said Dr Eamon Connolly, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Promotion Officer, CEIA.

"This initiative is designed to encourage and excite transition year students as to the possibilities of a career in science and engineering.”

Confey College will now go on to represent Ireland at the European final which takes place in Portugal from the 22 to 26 June 2016.

“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.

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's hashtag #ScienceRising at the event, which highlights areas of scientific and innovative excellence on a monthly basis, beginning in April with the exciting world of technology.


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