Kilrush school wins LIT Space competition

Kilrush school wins LIT Space competition

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A team from a Co Clare school has won a space competition and will now represent Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) in the national final.

Teams of transition year students from across Limerick & Clare designed, built and launched mini-satellites made in the shape of soft drink cans at the Regional  final of CEIA and ESERO (European Space Education Resource Office) Ireland CanSat Final held in Limerick Institute of Technology on Friday.

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite in the size and shape volume of a soft drink can and is a European Space Agency initiative designed to inspire young people to pursue a career in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the availability of a highly qualified workforce in the space industry of the future.

Kilrush Community School were announced as the overall winning team at the 2017 CanSat Regional Final and will now go on to represent LIT at the National final which takes place in Portlaoise from the 27 to 28 April 2017.

Teams from Limerick and Clare, including Ard Scoil Ris and Colaiste Iosaef Kilmallock were all competing for a place at the National Final. 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.

“I would like to congratulate Kilrush Community School 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 Discover.

“I would like to thank the individual team mentors who worked tirelessly with the teams in the run up to the final, and I would also like to thank our judges Dr David Sutton, Limerick Institute of Technology, Dr Eamon Connolly CEIA ” she added.

Speaking at the event said Dr. Eamon Connolly, Electrical and Electronic Engineering Promotion Officer, CEIA – Cork’s Technology Network – said: “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. This initiative is designed to encourage and excite transition year students as to the possibilities of a career in science and engineering.”

There are six regional partners including Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology, Sligo Institute of Technology and Athlone 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 Discover, the education and outreach programme managed by Science Foundation Ireland.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick.

Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station’s flagship current affairs programme.

He was also the station’s News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day.

As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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