Despite its name, NASA Glenn Research Center’s Dropping In a Microgravity
Environment (DIME) competition won’t sound anything like a coin hitting the
floor. The thud of experiment packages being dropped in Glenn’s 2.2 Second
Drop Tower and cheers from student teams will make for a loud event.

On April 25 – 27, Glenn will host the first DIME Competition, known as DIME
Drop Days. Two teams representing the Center Of Science and Industry Academy
in Columbus, OH and Sycamore High School in Cincinnati, OH, have made it to
the final stage of the academic year long program, which entailed designing
and constructing their science experiments for operation in the drop tower.
Media representatives are invited to Glenn on Wednesday, April 25 from 3 – 4
p.m. to observe the actual competition.

“In the DIME program, students learn a fundamental lesson for space
experiments-microgravity, or ‘weightlessness’, can be created on the ground
by dropping experiments in a free fall,” said Richard DeLombard, DIME
program creator and coordinator. “Hopefully this program will inspire the
next generation of astronauts and project scientists by allowing students to
perform their experiments in conditions similar to that in the Shuttle and
International Space Station.”

DIME is a regional educational program that consists of investigations and
design challenges. The program links students directly to NASA’s diverse and
exciting missions of research, exploration and discovery. By participating
in this competition, students develop a hypothesis that can be tested
through experimentation and prepare a scientific research proposal.

The program is open to students in grades 9 – 12 comprised of teams such as
science classes, clubs or scout troops, and their advisors. To be eligible
for participation, each group developed an experiment concept, prepared a
proposal for it and submitted the proposal to Glenn. A panel of Glenn
microgravity experts selected the top proposals. These selected teams
continued their experiment development and will now conduct their
experiments in Glenn’s world-class facility

During their visit to Glenn the student teams will also participate in
project-related events such as data analysis and interviews for their
microgravity experiments, and extracurricular events such as a LegoT
challenge and facility tours.

Media representatives interested in attending the event are asked to call
Barbara Kakiris or the Media Relations Office (216/433-2901) ahead of time
to be cleared through security.

For more information on the DIME program or to enter for next year’s
program, please visit:

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