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News > Sutton Grammar School > SGS take part in European Space Agency competition - CanSat

SGS take part in European Space Agency competition - CanSat

13 May 2024
Sutton Grammar School

By The CanSat Project Team, Year 10

In the realm of aerospace engineering and scientific exploration, few competitions hold as much promise and excitement as the CanSat project. Designed to ignite a passion for space exploration and technology among secondary school students, this competition invites participants to design, build, and launch a miniature satellite, or "CanSat," equipped with sensors to collect data during its flight.

Our team of Year 10 students, formally named project Athena, embarked on this thrilling adventure with enthusiasm and determination, eager to push the boundaries of what is possible and to make our mark on the world of aerospace engineering. From the outset, we were faced with challenges and obstacles, each one presenting an opportunity for growth and learning.

One of the defining moments of our CanSat project occurred when out of a staggering pool of 258 competitors, we were selected to be one of only 10 teams invited to participate in the CanSat National Finals. It was a remarkable achievement that filled us with pride and gratitude, knowing that our hard work and dedication had been recognized on a national stage.

But our success didn’t end there, our parachute was successfully deployed during the launch, guiding our payload safely back to Earth as well as landing upright upon impact. It was a testament to the meticulous planning and dedication of our team, and a moment of triumph that will be remembered for years to come. The final results, whilst excellent, weren't quite enough to secure the top award - a single malfunction in one of our sensors stopped us getting top marks.

(pictured above) The team Athena rocket launch

As we reflect on our journey, we are proud to say that our efforts have not gone unnoticed. Our team led a successful media campaign on the CanSat Athena website blog, sharing our progress and insights with a global audience. Additionally, our State of CanSat blog series run by Luca Lo Presti, which was uploaded to the website, received attention and praise for its informative and engaging content.

Furthermore, our achievements were celebrated in multiple news articles, highlighting the innovative work being done by students in the field of aerospace engineering. It showed the power of collaboration and the impact that young minds can have on the world around them.

Throughout our journey, we were fortunate to have the guidance and expertise of our team engineers, Arca, Richard and Nish who together spearheaded the design and iteration of multiple 3D-printed components for our CanSat. Their dedication and ingenuity were instrumental in our success, and we owe both our elegant design and outstanding results in our launch to them.

Finally, we are proud to report that we achieved near perfect results in all our Final Design Reviews (FDRs), which are comprehensive assessments of our project's design, functionality, and scientific objectives. It is designed to gauge the thoroughness and professionalism of teams, and our results reflect the passion and dedication we brought to every aspect of our CanSat project.

As we bring our journey to a close, we are filled with a profound sense of pride and accomplishment. From humble beginnings to national recognition, our journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. As we look to the future, we are aware that the lessons learned and experiences gained will remain with us for a lifetime, motivating us to aim for the stars and pursue our dreams with unwavering determination.

P.S. Plans for Year 12 are already being drawn up...

(pictured above) Mr Turner demonstrating the size of the rockets

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