Astro Pi 2019/20

In 2015 the European Space Agency sent two Raspberry Pi mini computers to the International Space Station. The intention was to provide an opportunity for students and young people to become involved in space research and to raise the profile of STEM subjects. The initiative invites individuals and teams to write code that can be loaded to one of the computers and use the various sensors they have to conduct experiments.  Depending on which of the two computers used, the experiments can study conditons on the earth from the vantage point of the ISS or inside the Columbus module of the ISS. 

In 2019 a group of our ninjas embarked on their own quest to have an experiment accepted for the Astro Pi Mission Space Lab programme. 

The project, entitled xxxxxxxxxx, sought to xxxxxxxxxxxx 

While each of the team members were proficent in programming in Python, the language used by the computers, the project tested the their technical, project management and communication skills as they had to formulate an idea, establish a project plan,  summarise this in their competition entry, hit project deadlines, test and trouble shoot their program all while working together as a team. 

So in October 2019 they submitted their entry, together with xxxx other entrants and in November made the shortlist with just xxx other teams. For their efforts, they received a consignment of Raspberry PI computers to allow them to develop the software and test the experiments in the safety and comfort of dojo. 

The team worked hard to develop their experiment, however in spite of their efforts the programme was not fully functioning for the final deadline to be uploaded to the machines on the ISS. While this was a deep disappointment for the team, they individually and collectively learned a huge amount from the project and it was great to see them develop their skills, confidence in their own abilities and willingness to work with their team mates for the good of the group. 

We learned a lot as a dojo too and true to the mission of the Astro Pi programme, it has broadened the horizons of what a group of young people can expect to achieve with some imagination, initiative, drive and cooperation. 

We are hoping to give the program another go this year and  are happy to support and encourage any who want to participate. 

Thanks to our mentors Anthony, Grainne, Shauna and Marcus for giving so much time and expertise. 

and congratulations to Ronan, Sean, Tessa,…. For doing so well and we hope that you will get all the way to into orbit next time.