What If No Gravity?


Student Experiment Packages Dropped March 2010

These experiments were sent by students to NASA Glenn Research Center for the first year of the What If No Gravity? (WING) student team competition for middle school students. WING is a nationwide competition similar to the Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) for high school students. These experiments were dropped in the NASA Glenn 2.2 Second Drop Tower in March 2010.

WING Experiment Image Gallery

WING Experiment #1, box with slinky suspended in experiment drop package

W-01 Balanced Forces in a Microgravity Environment
Organization: Luzerne Intermediate Unit #18
Wyoming Area Secondary Center
Exeter, Pennsylvania
A coil toy suspended by one end and stretched out by gravity. Shown here installed in the drop tower Education Rig in preparation to be dropped. Obviously the students took pride in their work!

Repelling Magnet Experiment
W-02 RME (Repelling Magnet Experiment)
Organization: Wyoming Valley West School District
Kingston, Pennsylvania
The photo shows the three repelling magnets loaded in the protective enclosure before installation in the drag shield. This simple experiment gives a very dramatic demonstration of forces and motion when the experiment is dropped in free fall.

WING experiment #03. Experiment with a battery, light bulb, and container of saline solution.
W-03 The Effects of Water Dispersal and Conductivity in Microgravity
Organization: Hanover Area School District
Hanover Township, Pennsylvania
This container holds a saline solution that will rise with capillary force when it is in free fall. The saline solution should contact two electrical contacts inside the container which will complete a circuit to light the light bulb.

WING experiment #04. Experiment with five different balls and different rubber bands.
W-04 Slam Dunk
Organization: Hanover Area School District
Hanover Township, Pennsylvania
This innovative experiment tested five different ball sizes and weights and different strengths of rubber bands. Where will the balls go when the experiment is dropped in free fall?

WING Experiment #5, three layers of liquids of varying density with varying materials that remain in the separate layers while in 1G

W-05 The Effect of Microgravity on Buoyant Force
Organization: Good Shepherd Academy - Diocese of Scranton
Kingston, Pennsylvania
Three layers of liquids, separated by density differences and gravity. Floating items between each layer, metal washers at bottom, rubber washers on top of bottom liquid, plastic stars above the second liquid, and wooden letters at the top.

WING experiment #07.  Three vials of simulated blood containing three different vitamins.
W-07 Vitamin-Enriched Blood
Organization: Northwood 6th Grade PEAK, Northwood Elementary School
Mooresville, Indiana
These three test tubes contain simulated blood. Each sample of simulated blood is saturated with a different vitamin. Will the vitamin remain in solution with the simulated blood?

WING experiment #08.  A capillary experiment with two bottles to make an electrical contact with saline solution.
W-08 Completing the Circuit
Organization: Hazleton Area School District, Drums Elem./Middle School
Drums, Pennsylvania
There are two concentric bottles, one inside the other, with a saline solution between the bottles. Wire terminals are also located between the bottles where the saline solution will rise during microgravity due to capillary forces. When contact is made, the light bulb inside will illuminate.

WING experiment #9 with liquids of varying density and colors in layers
W-09 Does Microgravity Affect Density of Fluids?
Organization: Hazleton Area School District, Drums Elementary/Middle School
Drums, Pennsylvania
Three liquid layers separated by density differences and gravity. A blue layer, a yellowish layer, and a very thin clear layer.

WING experiment #10.  Light bulb, battery, and circuit in styrofoam box.
W-10 LONG: Lights Out, No Gravity
Organization: Gate of Heaven School
Dallas, Pennsylvania
A lightbulb, battery, and a circuit with a loose switch. Will the light go out in microgravity?

WING experiment #11.  Wooden box with battery, light bulbs, and springs inside.
W-11 Lighting a Bulb in Microgravity
Organization: Tunkhannock Area Middle School
Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania
This elaborate experiment incorporates a mass (a large battery) suspended by springs when in 1-g. Dropped in free fall, the spring should pull the battery upward to make electrical connections to light the bulbs.

WING experiment #12 wooden structure with 2 dangling bags of materials.  Outside of structure painted in pink and blue

W-12 Opposites Attract
Organization: Dallas School District
Dallas, Pennsylvania
Two suspended balloons, one filled with iron filings and the other holding a magnet. Will they attract in microgravity?

The EGG team made this one. A magnet is in the green balloon and iron filings are in the pink one. These two balloons had interesting motion when the experiment was dropped.

Teacher advisor's comment: I can't wait to share the news with the team and see the video of the drop! This entire activity has been a great experience for my students. They had hands on experience with science and got to practice team work and cooperation.

WING Experiment #13,  This experiment contains a counterweight, rubber bands, an electrical switch, battery, and a fan.
W-13 Microgravity Fan
Organization: Lake-Lehman School District
Lehman, Pennsylvania
This experiment was damaged during shipment to NASA. It hasn't been completely removed from the shipping box. A counterweight will be suspended by rubber straps. The counterweight will rise in microgravity to hit a switch which will turn on power to the fan.

Amazing Alka-seltzer Bubbles
W-14 Amazing Alka-seltzer Bubbles
Organization: Crestwood Middle School
Mountaintop, Pennsylvania
An Alka-Seltzer (TM) tablet was taped to a magnet and was suspended above the water inside a tall container. Another magnet on the outside of the container held the tablet above the water until just before the experiment was released to fall. The team's objective was to observe the motion of the bubbles in 1-g before the release and compare with the bubble motion during microgravity. The photo shows how the magnets slipped a bit down the container side just before the small magnet was pulled away just before the drop.

WING Experiment #15, POW, Ping Pong Ball on Water.  A plastic ball with a ping pong ball floating on water.
W-15 Ping Pong Ball on Water
Organization: Crestwood Middle School
Mountaintop, Pennsylvania
An ink-colored ping pong ball in a plastic bottle floating on water. A simple experiment to discover what happens when gravity is not the predominant force. The resultant motion was surprising!

Effects of Magnetic Pull in Microgravity
W-16 The Effects of Magnetic Pull in Microgravity
Organization: Dunstan Middle School
Littleton, Colorado
This simple experiment will demonstrate forces and motions by observing the loose magnet's motion relative to the suspended steel washer during free fall.

WING experiment #17

W-17 Testing Magnetism in Microgravity
Organization: Smith Middle School
Troy, Michigan
In this experiment, two electromagnets are energized when the experiment is released to fall with iron filings in the cavity between the magnets.

WING experiment #18.  Wood frame holding a large solenoid, battery, and spray bottle.
W-18 Aerosols in Microgravity
Organization: S.T.E.M. Dynamics
Basking Ridge, Pennsylvania
This experiment will examine the pattern from a spray bottle, in both microgravity and 1-g conditions. The solenoid will depress the bottle nozzle after the experiment is released in free fall. Later a 1-g test will be performed.

Return to the Main DIME/WING Page

Responsible NASA official: Nancy Hall

Web Curator: Dawn Jenkins, Qinetiq-NA