GMIT to host west region final of EU CanSat competition
European competition offers practical experience of a real space project
Date Article Written:
Friday, October 11, 2013
Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) is to host the Connacht final of a unique competition offering secondary school teams in the west their first practical experience of a real space project.
The 2014 ESERO Ireland - CEIA CanSat Competition was launched nationally last week by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock and ESERO Ireland CanSat national judge, meteorologist Gerald Fleming.
The Connacht final will take place in March 2014, with the winners moving on to a National Final. The winners of the national competition will then have the chance to compete at European level in Andoya Norway in June 2014.
The challenge is to build a CanSat - a simulation of a real satellite integrated within the volume of a soft drinks can. The test for teams of Senior Cycle secondary school students is to include all the major subsystems found in a satellite such as a computer, power, sensors and a communication system. The CanSat is launched to an altitude of a few hundred metres by a rocket or dropped from a platform or captive balloon to accomplish its missions. The Primary Mission is to measure temperature, air pressure, transmit the data to the ground station and achieve a safe landing. The teams work together at all stages of the process - designing the CanSat, selecting its mission, integrating the components, testing, preparing for launch, receiving the data on the ground and then analysing and presenting the data to a panel of judges.
Dr Carina Ginty, GMIT Schools Liaison Officer, says “The CanSat competition teaches students about electronics, programming, sensors, mechanical designing and atmospheric temperature, all of which are core science and engineering skills that will benefit students as they move on to third level education. We are delighted to be hosting the Connacht Final and look forward to working with the competing schools on this exciting project.”
“We are already working with teams from Calansanctius School, Oranmore, Gairmscoil Mhuire, Athenry and St Enda’s Salthill, Galway and are looking forward to hearing from other interested schools in the Connacht region. We will be holding four training days on campus between now and March, which will include online demonstrations and on-campus workshops. Lecturers from the GMIT Mechanical Engineering and Electronic & Electrical Engineering departments and students from the GMIT Civic Engagement programme will impart their skills and knowledge to secondary school students. In addition, industry partners Avaya, HP and Schneider Electric have assigned industry mentors to work with GMIT on supporting the project.”
Irish students have achieved notable success in the CanSat competition, run by the European Space Agency. Last year, the winners of the national CanSat competition, a team of nine students from Colaiste an Phiarsaigh in Cork, went on to achieve second place at the European CanSat final in the Netherlands, where their CanSat was launched by rocket to an altitude of 1km.
The competition is a joint collaboration between ESERO Ireland (European Space Education Resource Office) and Cork Electronics Industry Association (CEIA.ie), and is co-funded by the European Space Agency and Discover Science and Engineering education and outreach programme, which is managed by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).
Stephanie O’Neill, ESERO Ireland Manager, said, “The purpose of the CanSat competition is to open up the possibilities of space and exploration to secondary school students. There are numerous Irish companies thriving in the space sector. ESERO Ireland’s ambition, with the assistance of the European Space Agency, is to foster the skills that are required for this industry at an early age and the CanSat competition provides students with the practical experience of a real space project. The success of last year’s team from Glanmire at a European level illustrates the potential of our young people and we look forward to welcoming many more students to this year’s competition.”
GMIT is fully subscribed now for 2013-2014. The Institute's Schools' Liaison Office is now recruiting for 2014/15 only.
For further informationcontact Dr Carina Ginty of GMIT: Carina.firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcing details of the European CanSat Competition Connacht finals in GMIT: Zeljka Dujkovic, Calasantius College, Oranmore, Destiny Aghabueze, St. Endas, Salthill, Galway and Jordan Lally, Gairmscoil Mhuire, Athenry.