Tuesday 27 January 2015

Star pupils' gravity project put to the test in space

Sam Griffin

Published 05/02/2014 | 02:30

Jason Hannon, Jonathon Roche, Jamie O'Connell and Kevin Hanley, four secondary school students from Limerick

A GROUP of talented transition year students will see their innovative science experiment boldly go where no Irish experiment has gone before.

The four teenagers, from St Nessan's Community College, Limerick, were yesterday announced as the winners of 'The Only Way is Up' competition which is being run by the Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp) at the University of Limerick.

The competition asked Transition Year students in schools around the country to submit an innovative science experiment, which is to be flown up to the International Space Station.

The winning project, devised by pals Jason Hannon, Jonathon Roche, Kevin Hanley and Jamie O'Connell, aims to investigate the effects that microgravity has on the solidification of re-inforced concrete.

The experiment will blast off on the Orbital Sciences Orb-2 mission to the International Space Station from the NASA Wallop station in Virginia, US.

The experiment will spend 30 days orbiting the earth before being returned to the students who will compare the effects of zero gravity with a controlled experiment on terra firma.

The competition is the first of its kind in Ireland and was run through University of Limerick in partnership with US firm NanoRacks, which brings together entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers to conduct experiments in zero gravity conditions.

The project is also supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

Irish Independent

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