Young Hansfield scientists hoping for an out of this world victory

by Sylvia Pownall

Three teams of students from Hansfield Educate Together Secondary School are through to the second round of a competition run by the European Space Agency.

The teams will now represent Ireland in Mission Space Lab, phase two of the Astro Pi competition which tests their science and coding skills and knowledge.

The Hansfield students – three teams consisting of nine junior cycle pupils – will now compete against 281 projects by writing computer programs to be used in space.

Team Dacoria (Eoin Hearns, Izaan Mateen and Alex Oliveri) are designing an experiment to measure the effect of ocean pollution on plankton life.

Project Melaidar (Vimanyu Taneja, Vivek Allampally and Madhu Racherla) are taking images of space, mapping air pollution and using this data to help map holes in the ozone layer.

The Dry Radiators (Daniel Khoruzhyy, Ross Kane and Yash Balasubramanium) are trying to determine if space radiation interferes with data sent to space.

A school spokesperson explained: “Once they have finished coding their experiments, the experiments will be sent to the International Space Station where they will run for two earth orbits, or three hours.

“The data collected in space will then be sent back to the students on earth where they will analyse it and write a report on their findings. The ten teams that write the best reports will be selected as the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab winners.

“I think Hansfield ETSS can be confident in that they have some budding scientists on their hands.”

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