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.

Please contact us if you would like to participate! Please note that the current inaugural offering (Sept. 2020 to June 2021) is only being offered in British Columbia and the Yukon; however, we will expand it to the rest of Canada as interest grows for subsequent offerings.

Current status:

Now accepting applications from B.C. and Yukon teams for the 2020-21 offering.

Download the CanSat Application form (MS Word) 

Applications to participate are due by Friday, October 30, 2020!



Download the CSDC CanSat-2021 Poster!