Confey College win Bronze at European Space Agency CanSat 2016 Competition

June 30, 2016

Congratulations to the CanSat team from Confey College, Leixlip on their 3rd placed position in the European Space Agency’s CanSat competition held in Lisbon, Portugal. (June 22nd -26th).  They competed against 14 international teams to win the coveted prize – each individual national winners in their home countries.

The challenge faced by the competitors was to design and manufacture a canned satellite (CanSat). A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can. The CanSat were designed to be launched by rocket to an altitude of I,000 meters before being ejected. Each CanSat was designed to descend to earth by an individual integrated parachute. Recordings were taken (using sensors) of air pressure and air temperature. The Confey College CanSat also recorded humidity, GPS coordinates and the forces exerted upon the ’satellite’ using an on-board accelerometer.

The international panel of judges were highly impressed with the teams’ presentations of technical data and sensor analysis provided during three rigorous interviews.

The Confey College team were earlier Leinster regional winners before winning the National final in Birr, County Offaly in April.

The team members were: Kieran Kilbane, Naoise Barry, Conor Walsh, Julia Waszkiewicz, Liam Murphy,  Alex Bourke, Gergely Gellert & Denis Buhai.

The team was ably led by Confey College staff teachers Ms Mary Selkirk (Physics) and Mr Philip Devereux (Engineering). Mr Damian Bourke of the Dublin Institute of Technology was the official mentor to the group.

The students have been wonderful ambassadors  for Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) over the course of this entire event.  As well as making presentations to students, staff and over 800 parents in Confey College, they have also made presentations to the senior primary pupils of San Carlo NS Leixlip, Lucan Educate Together National School (LETNS) and Griffeen Valley Educate Together School (GVETS), Lucan.

As regional and national winners of CanSat Ireland, the team were invited to the  ‘Excite’ exhibition in Dublin Castle where they presented their project to Taoiseach, Mr Enda Kenny. The team presented to the full Board of Kildare and Wicklow Education and  Training Board (KWETB). The students were also invited to present to a technical group in Xilinx, City West.

We would like to acknowledge the generous support of  Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board, Kildare County Council, European Space Education Resource Office (ESERO),Xilinx (Ireland), Midas (Ireland), Manepa Medical, Butler Technologies, Cronin Solicitors and PI Pneumatics.

As well as providing financial and technical support to the team, these companies offered opportunities for our team to make technical presentations where feedback, support and advice was generously offered.

Principal of Confey College, Mr Mike O’Byrne  commended the teachers and their mentor for the enthusiasm and work they have shown on this project.   He noted that this project gave students insights into the real world  applications of Science, Maths and Engineering at a very high level. He thanked the students saying ‘as a school we are very proud of you winning 3rd place at the CanSat Europe.  You have provided a lot of joy and excitement in the school through your participation in the competition’.

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