Laurel Hill Students win silver in the ESA's first European CanSat Competition,
Norway, August 2010
Students from Laurel Hill Secondary School in Limerick won the silver award for their entry in ESA's first European CanSat competition held at the Andoya Rocket Range in Norway last August.
The CanSat competition, organised by ESA's Education Office and the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM), was open to teams of at least four students, assisted by a teacher or tutor.
The selected teams had to build their own small CanSat 'satellite' in six months, with each team developing an experiment that would fit inside a 350ml soft drink can.
These investigations ranged from calculating variations in Earth's magnetic field and tracking the Sun, to measuring solar radiation and levels of carbon dioxide.
Students were able to watch five Intruder rockets launch their CanSats from Skarsteindalen, a former military facility close to Andoya Rocket Range. The mini-payloads soared to an altitude of 1 km before parachuting back to Earth.
Although there were some last-minute technical hiccups, all CanSats were deployed successfully and all teams were able to perform at least part of their scientific missions.
At the prize-giving ceremony, the Laurel Hill team received a trophy and a hand-held SkyScout planetarium for their school. The bronze award went to a team from Belgium, while St. Paul's school in London got the gold. Other participants were from the Czech Republic, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden and Spain.