A team of second-level students from Confey College in Kildare has won the national leg of the CanSat competition, which challenges budding engineers to build miniature satellites for future space missions.
The CanSat competition is a European Space Agency (ESA) competition for second-level students in the senior cycle to develop a range of analytical equipment and place it into a container the size and shape of a soft drink can, all in the name of furthering STEM careers.
More specifically, each team had to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite into their CanSat, including power, sensors and communications – and provide a parachute to ensure the can had a gentle landing.
Organised in Ireland by ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) Ireland and CEIA, the national leg of the competition held in Birr, Co Offaly is part of a wider European competition to find the best budding satellite engineers to represent different nations at the European final taking place in Portugal from 22 to 26 June this year.
‘Each team did a fantastic job’
To that end, after a contested weekend at the Ireland national finals, the team from Confey College in Kildare was selected as the overall winners, led by team leader, Liam Murphy, and including Alex Bourke, Julia Waszkiewicz, Kieran Kilbane, Naoise Barry, Conor Walsh, Denis Buhai and Gergely Geller.
Also taking part in the national competition were teams from Dunmore Community School, Galway; Glanmire Community College, Cork; St. Joseph’s College, Borrisoleigh, Tipperary; Coláiste Chiaráin, Co Limerick, Belvedere College, Dublin and Marist College in Athlone, Co Westmeath.
Speaking of the Kildare team’s success, Stephanie O’Neill, ESERO Ireland Manager, said: “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.”