Grade-Level-Specific Challenges To Explore Microgravity
NASA is offering students the opportunity to compete in two
microgravity challenges: "Dropping In a Microgravity Environment,"
or DIME, and "What If No Gravity?" or WING.
DIME is a team competition for high school students in the ninth
through 12th grades. WING is a competition for student teams from
the fifth through eighth grades. Both are project-oriented
activities that last throughout the school year for the selected
DIME and WING are open to student teams from all 50 states,
Washington, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each team must have an
adult supervisor, such as a teacher, parent or technical
consultant. Teams may be from any type of organization or club,
such as a science class, a group of friends, a scout troop or youth
Proposals are due by Nov. 1. A panel of NASA scientists and
engineers will evaluate and select the top-ranked proposals by Dec.
1. The winning teams will design and build the experiments that
will be conducted in the 2.2-Second Drop Tower at NASA's Glenn
Research Center in Cleveland.
The 79-foot tower gets its name because when an experiment is
"dropped" into it, the package experiences weightlessness, or
microgravity, for 2.2 seconds. Researchers from around the world
use this tower to study the effects of microgravity on physical
phenomena, such as combustion and fluid dynamics, and to develop
new technology for future space missions.
The top four DIME teams will receive an expense-paid trip to
Glenn in March 2012 to conduct their experiments, review the
results with NASA personnel and tour the center's facilities. All
DIME participants visiting NASA must be U.S. citizens.
Four additional DIME teams, and up to 30 WING teams, will be
selected to build their experiments and ship them to Glenn for NASA
testing. These experiments and the resulting data will be returned
to the teams, so they can prepare reports about their findings.