Press Release

NASA Announces Two National Student Science Competitions

By SpaceRef Editor
October 12, 2011
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NASA Announces Two National Student Science Competitions

CLEVELAND — 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 teams.

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 group.

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.

For more information about entering DIME and WING student team competitions, visit:

DIME and WING are part of NASA’s education program. The program allows the agency to continue its work around the country to inspire, engage and educate the next generation of engineers and scientists.

The Teaching From Space Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston sponsors the DIME and WING competitions. The office enhances education opportunities that use the unique environment of human spaceflight; works with crew members to arrange International Space Station in-flight education downlinks; and provides education payload operations and demonstrations.

For more information about NASA’s education programs, visit:

For more information about NASA’s Teaching From Space programs, visit

For information about NASA’s Glenn Research Center, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.