The Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) program is open for student teams located in all fifty states of the U.S., Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U. S. Virgin Islands. Please note that only U.S. citizens will be allowed to attend DIME Drop Days at NASA as part of DIME Tier I teams.
DIME was expanded in 2010 such that the program is open to student teams from American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands in addition to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. However, for these four additional territories, travel funds will not be provided for DIME if a proposal is selected as a Tier I winner. Such a team would be able to participate in a visit to NASA Glenn in Cleveland, Ohio under the various program stipulations, but would need to provide their own travel funds. If such a team is selected for Tier I and they so desire, they could defer to a Tier II participation as outlined below.
NASA will provide travel funding, pending availability, to four Tier I selected teams from the fifty U.S. states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Up to four student team members and one adult advisor from each Tier I team will be invited to attend DIME Drop Days in March at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. During DIME Drop Days, the team representatives will conduct their experiment in the NASA 2.2 Second Drop Tower, analyze their data, and tour NASA facilities.
Approximately four additional DIME proposals will be selected for Tier II participation. NASA will provide travel funding, pending availability, for one adult advisor from the Tier II team to attend DIME Drop Days in March at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. During DIME Drop Days, the adult advisor will conduct the team’s experiment in the NASA 2.2 Second Drop Tower. If time allows, the students could participate via skype or videoconference. The video data will be sent to the school so both the students and the adult advisor can analyze the teams data. Finally, the adult advisor will be able to tours NASA facilities as well as participate in educational workshops.
A final report is expected from each Tier I & II team after the results of the drop tower operations are analyzed by the student team.
DIME is component of a NASA competition program which allows teams to design and build a science experiment which will then be operated in a NASA microgravity drop tower facility. This program is a project-oriented activity which lasts one school year for the selected teams. A DIME team will be comprised of high-school-aged students in grades 5-8. Teams may be formed from (for example) a science class, a group of classes, a science club, a Scout troop, or simply a bunch of friends. A team must have an adult advisor, such as a teacher, parent, or technical consultant.
Early in the school year, teams interested in competing will develop an experiment concept, write a proposal for an experiment, and submit the proposal to NASA. It is expected that the ideas and concepts for the experiments be created by the students. In addition, the proposals should be the work of the student team members.
A NASA panel of engineers and scientists will evaluate all of the submitted proposals and select the top-ranked proposals for DIME and for WING. These teams will then continue their experiment development and fabrication leading to operation in the NASA drop tower in March.
Nancy R. Hall, NASA Glenn Research Center.
Last Updated on June 26, 2014