CanSat 2Congratulations to Transition Years Paula Davila, Ashling McCarthy, Aoife McDermott and Clara Rodriguez, who won the CanSat Ireland National Finals 2019. The two-day competition, endorsed and supported by the European Space Agency, took place on May 2nd and 3rd in Portlaoise. It saw the girls go up against four other regional winners, all vying for the National title and the chance to represent Ireland at the European Final.

The girls showed great dedication to the competition as they worked evenings, weekends and throughout their Easter break. Under the supervision of their mentors they applied all the procedures used in the typical lifecycle of a real space project; putting all the finishing touches onto their hardware and software designs.

The Regional Finals saw the team’s design being launched by an octocopter. The National Final upped the ante with IMG_3761the use of an impressive rocket which launched all five CanSats at once to an altitude of about 400 metres.  After a successful launch, the girls kept everything crossed that all measurements and data would make its way to their ground station (laptop) for later analysis. Their well-constructed parachute did not let them down.

The following day the team made a 10 minute presentation, using graphs compiled from their gathered data, to the judging panel. A further 15 minutes was then spent in Q&A. The judges evaluated the team based on their technical, educational, teamwork and outreach work. Strong presentation skills combined with their engineering saw the girls being named overall winners. CanSat Ireland commented that it was a very close competition and the judges had their work cut out for them but the Bower victory was certainly well deserved.

IMG_3770The girls would like to thank their mentors; Mr Vinas, Ms Fox and Ms Coy.  They would also like to thank Marcus Rahilly, Paul Mulvey and Kevin McDermott from AIT for their knowledge and support through the competition. The team is currently compiling their Pre-launch Report for the European Finals which will be held in Bologna in June. This is a fantastic achievement and we wish them every success.