The CanSat Design Challenge
for Secondary Schools

A CanSat is a simulation of a real satellite, integrated within the volume and shape of a soft drink can, and weighing between 300 and 350g.

The challenge for the students is to fit all the major subsystems found in a satellite - such as power, sensors, and a communication system - into this minimal volume. The CanSat is then launched by a rocket up to an altitude of approximately one kilometre (or dropped from a drone or airplane). Then its mission begins.

In this challenge, teams are tasked with an identical primary mission, which involves carrying out a scientific experiment and/or a technology demonstration, achieving a safe landing, and analysing the data collected. Teams must also design and implement their own secondary mission, of which the possibilities are only limited by the creativity of the students!

Through the CanSat project, the participating student teams experience all the phases of a real space project, from selecting the mission objectives, designing their CanSat, integrating the components, testing the system, preparing for launch, and analysing the scientific data obtained. Throughout this process the students:

  • learn by doing;
  • get acquainted with the inquiry-based methodology that is typical of real-life scientific and technical professions;
  • acquire and/or reinforce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) capabilities;
  • understand the importance of coordination and teamwork; and,
  • enhance their teamwork and communications skills.

The current inaugural offering is underway, and we are not accepting any more applications; however, please contact us if you would like to participate in the next offering, which will begin in September, 2021.


Current status:
Teams are preparing to deliver their Preliminary Design Review, due on January 24, 2021.
CanSat Kit Tutorials


Download the CSDC CanSat-2021 Poster!