Explore the Moon and Earth’s climate with two new ESA school projects!
Primary & Post Primary Level

In the beginning of the World Space Week, ESA is proud to present two new school challenges: Climate Detectives and Moon Camp.

Meant for teams of school students guided by a teacher or educator, Moon Camp and Climate Detectives give young people the chance to run interdisciplinary projects and develop new skills, ranging from science and technology to teamwork and communication, like real space experts would do.

Moon Camp

With Moon Camp, ESA and Airbus Foundation, in partnership with Autodesk, challenge students to take part in the future exploration of space by designing a human shelter on the Moon! The students will have to design a 3D Moon Camp able to sustain the lives of at least two astronauts, taking into account:

  • the use of local resources, such as lunar soil and ice
  • technological solutions, such as power sources, a recycling system, a food growth chamber
  • protection  from meteorites and radiation

The Moon Camp challenge presents two separate categories featuring different levels of complexity:

  • Category 1, for students  up to 12 years old, using the 3D design tool Tinkercad® (free online tool) and
  • Category 2, for students between 13 to 18 years old, using the 3D design tool Fusion 360® (free for students and schools).

Teams can submit their design from 1 November 2018 until 16 March 2019.

Find out more about Moon Camp and help ESA settle on the Moon!

Climate Detectives

With Climate Detectives ESA challenges students to make a difference in understanding and protecting Earth’s climate.Students will identify a climate problem by observing their local environment and will be tasked to investigate it as Climate Detectives. To this end, they will use available Earth Observation data coming from real satellites, or take measurements on the ground. Based on their investigation, teams will propose a way to help reduce the problem. The students will learn about climate on Earth as a complex and changing system and the importance of respecting our environment.

Climate Detectives is open to teams of students between 8 and 15 years old. The project is deployed in three Phases. Submission for Phase 1 is now open, and it will close on 15 November 2018.

So, do not hesitate any further and find out more about Climate Detectives. ESA needs you to make a difference by protecting Earth’s climate and helping our planet!

Ireland win the 2018 European CanSat Finals in The Azores
Post Primary Level

July 2nd, 2018 – A weekend of strong competition in the European CanSat Finals ended with the Irish team, Marist College Athlone, emerging victorious. The finals were held at the Regional Fund for Science and Technology (FRCT) on the island of Santa Maria, Azores. The Marist College team secured their place in the European finals after winning the CanSat Ireland national final earlier this year. 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.

“A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite developed in the size and shape of a soda can.  A European Space Agency initiative, the competition fosters an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) careers by offering students a hands-on experience of a space-themed project. The multidisciplinary nature of the project ensures students are exposed to industry standards in a broad array of potential career paths.

Marist College’s victory marks the end of an intense series of competitions that began in October 2017 during Space Week.  All participants in this year’s competitions have performed admirably, and the standard of scientific literacy on display has been truly impressive. 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.  I cannot recommend the CanSat competition enough. Beyond the obvious benefit of teaching STEM skills to students, it has taught our team about project management, teamwork, and outreach. I highly recommend that more schools get involved.”

Congratulating Marist College, Stephanie O’Neill, The 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.”

Alan Giltinan, of CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, is the national coordinator of CanSat Ireland, and is delighted to learn that Ireland have secured a win in the European Finals:
Congratulations to Marist College on winning the European CanSat Final 2018. It is a testimony to all their hard work and dedication and a fantastic achievement for the students, staff, mentors and everyone involved. At BCO, our vision is to create STEM literate students while developing and coordinating programmes which prepare students for a career in STEM. The CanSat programme brings this vision together by combining many aspects of STEM while incorporating vital career elements such as presentation skills and information interpretation. 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.

Eighteen teams participated in the European finals this year: the winners of the CanSat national competitions from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Nordic (joint competition Finland-Sweden-Norway), Portugal, Poland, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, as well a team from Hungary selected directly by ESA.

Ireland has performed admirably in recent European finals, placing 3rd, and 2nd in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but this year’s victory marks the first time an Irish team has brought home the gold.

Marist College, Athlone Wins CanSat Ireland National Finals
Post Primary Level

CanSat Ireland National Winners, Marist College, will represent Ireland at the 2018 European CanSat Finals in The Azores.

Read More
CanSat 2017/18
Post Primary Level

CanSat is a European Space Agency competition for 2nd Level Students (transition year and upwards) run by ESERO Ireland in association with CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory and Institutes of Technology.

There are 7 regional partners in 2017/18. These are Athlone Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology, Institute of technology Tralee and Institute of Technology Sligo.

Each of the colleges will be working to train teams from local schools between now and March 2017.  See the training videos below for some of the topics which the students will become familiar with.  Each Institute of Technology will host a regional competition on the following dates.

Limerick: March 8th

Cork: March 10th

Athlone: March 20th

Dublin: March 15th

Galway: March 22nd

Tralee: TBC

Sligo: 13th March


Read More
CanSat 2016/17
Post Primary Level

CanSat is a European Space Agency competition for 2nd Level Students (transition year and upwards)  run by ESERO Ireland  in association with Cork Electronic Industries Association and Institutes of Technology.

Five regional partners will work with ESERO to run CanSat in 2015/16. These are Athlone Institute of Technology, Cork Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Technology,Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology.

Cork Electronic Industries Association partners with ESERO to oversee the management of the project nationally.

Each of the colleges will be working to train teams from local schools between now and January/February.  See the training videos below for some of the topics which the students will become familiar with.  Each Institute of Technology will host a regional competition on the following dates.

Limerick:             Friday 3rd  March
Cork:                    Saturday 11th March
Athlone:               Wednesday 15th  March
Dublin:                Wednesday 22nd March
Galway:               Friday 31st March

Read More
What is CanSat?
Post Primary Level

A video made by students in Confey College, Leixlip who participated in the Leinster CanSat Competition organised by DIT on 9th March 2016

Read More
Space Station Robot Challenge
Post Primary Level

A space robotics competition opens today for school students. The aim is to design a robot that can move cargo from one end of an International Space Station (ISS) mock-up to another.

The competition is open to any school student aged between 11 and 19 from an ESA member state*. This is the second time that ESA has run a space robotics competition.

Zero Robotics
Post Primary Level
The Zero Robotics competition has just been launched. The 2014 ESA High School Tournament registration is now open to European secondary-school students until 26 September. The competition is mostly about coding but not only, it is also about applied Physics and Mathematics and problem solving. Students which participated in the past have been extremely positive and enthusiastic. More about the competition.
Mission X: Train Like An Astronaut
Primary Level
Mission X: Train Like an Astronaut is an international educational challenge focusing on fitness and nutrition as students (aged 8 to 12 years old) are encouraged to “train like an astronaut.” Mission X is focuses on fitness and nutrition because we know that a healthy body is necessary to be a ‘Fit Explorer!’ The World Health Organization has designated childhood obesity as one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century – and diet, physical activity, and health are the best answers to this largely preventable problem. Astronauts know the vital importance of physical training for mission success. Teams of primary students will learn principles of healthy eating and exercise, compete for points by finishing training modules. Students will practice scientific reasoning and teamwork while participating in hands-on training missions targeting strength, endurance, coordination, balance, spatial awareness, and more. Train Like an Astronaut mission activities include: Base Station Walkback; Crew Strength Training; Do a Spacewalk; Mission: CONTROL!; Jump for the Moon; Explore and Discover; Agility Astro-Course; Speed of Light; Building an Astronaut Core; Crew Assembly; Let’s Climb a Martian Mountain; Planet you GO, Gravity you Find; Get on Your Space Cycle; and Space Roll and Roll. Educational science modules include: Living Bones, Strong Bones; Hydration Station; Energy of an Astronaut; and Reduced Gravity, Low Fat. Schools and Teachers interested in participating should send an email to the country point of contact who will give more information on how to register etc. The Mission X official website has all the activities translated in several languages. Mission X official website: You can also read more about Mission X 2014 on the recent article on ESA’s website. ESA Article: Mission-X_jump_for_the_Moon The Irish Point of Contact for this project is Ria O’Sullivan at Blackrock Castle Observatory Email: