Press Release

NASA Invites Students to Drop Everything: Microgravity Research in Drop Towers

By SpaceRef Editor
September 24, 2009
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CLEVELAND — NASA is inviting student teams to experience microgravity science by designing and building experiments to be conducted in a NASA drop tower. Dropping In a Microgravity Environment, or DIME, is a competition for high school students. Students in grades 6-9 can compete in What If No Gravity?, or WING.

Both competitions are open to teams from any state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Teams may be formed from a science class or club, group of classes, scout troop or similar organization. Each team must have an adult advisor, such as a teacher, parent or technical consultant.

To enter the competitions, teams must develop a concept for a microgravity experiment, and prepare and submit a proposal to NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland by Monday, Nov. 2. A panel of engineers and scientists at Glenn will evaluate and select the top-ranked proposals for both DIME and WING by Dec. 10. For information about entering NASA’s DIME and WING student competitions, visit:

The top four DIME teams will be invited to Cleveland in April 2010 to conduct their experiments in Glenn’s 2.2-Second Drop Tower and review the results with NASA personnel. They also will tour Glenn facilities and participate in other activities. All DIME participants visiting NASA must be U.S. citizens.

Several additional DIME teams and up to 50 WING teams will be invited to ship their experiments to Glenn to be drop-tested by NASA staff. These experiments and the resulting data will be returned to the teams so they can prepare reports about their findings.

These and similar education programs help NASA attract and retain students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics — disciplines critical to the agency’s future missions.

NASA’s student drop experiment competitions are sponsored by the Teaching From Space Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The office manages education opportunities that use the unique environment of human spaceflight.

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

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

SpaceRef staff editor.