Marist College team named 2018 European CanSat winners

CanSat 2018 winners
Pictured: Paul McGrath, Pádraig McDermott, Usman Riaz, Sebastian Klosowski, Marist College Athlone

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4 July 2018 | 0

A team from Marist College Athlone has become the first Irish entry to win the European CanSat competition.

The finals brought together winner of national competitions from 18 countries and was held at the Regional Fund for Science and Technology (FRCT) on the island of Santa Maria, Azores.

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite developed in the size and shape of a fizzy drink can.

A European Space Agency initiative, the competition fosters an interest in STEM careers by offering students a hands-on experience of a space-themed project.

The students were joined by their teacher, Georgina Clear, who was thrilled with her team’s performance: “The lads are absolutely delighted. Everyone here at Marist College is incredibly proud of what they’ve achieved. Even in the height of the competition, the spirit of cooperation and comradery between the teams was inspiring. It really drove home the collaborative nature of these kind of enterprises, and how it can bring people from all backgrounds together.”

Stephanie O’Neill, ESERO Ireland manager, Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Marist College’s victory is a testament to the incredible potential of Ireland’s future STEM professionals. These young people have displayed tremendous scientific literacy and work ethic to secure this prestigious victory for Ireland.

“The students, their teachers, and everyone who supported their journey deserve the highest praise and we offer them our congratulations on this incredible achievement. Through Science Foundation Ireland, ESERO supports and encourages initiatives like CanSat to help ensure that we have an engaged and scientifically informed student body. This result is an affirmation of that vision.”

CanSat Ireland is an ESERO Ireland competition, co-funded by the European Space Agency and Science Foundation Ireland. It is coordinated and managed by CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory.

Alan Giltinan, of CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, is the national coordinator of CanSat Ireland: “By winning the European Final, the students have highlighted that Ireland has an up and coming student base well equipped for STEM and SPACE careers, such as the emerging New Space sector, while showcasing Ireland’s emerging workforce as a powerful competitor.”

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