2018 High School Drop Tower Challenge

Microgravity Expulsion from Water

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(The details below were taken from this link

Teams of high school students (grades 9-12) are challenged to design and build objects that sink in water in normal gravity but will be expelled as far as possible out of the water during free fall in NASA’s 2.2 Second Drop Tower. The expulsion must result from the hydrophobic surface of each object.  

The proposal consisting of an entry form and conceptual drawings should be emailed to Ed-DropTower@lists.nasa.gov. Proposals are due by November 10, 2017. Team selections will be announced by mid-December. If selected for testing, the team will build their unique test objects based on information provided on the challenge website. The team-built test objects must arrive at NASA by no later than February 10, 2018. 

At NASA, the objects will be put in vessels of water and dropped 24 meters (79 feet).  During the fall, the objects and water will experience 2.2 seconds of apparent near-weightlessness, i.e., microgravity. Video results will be provided for student analysis and the preparation of written reports that will be submitted back to NASA. Objects will be tested in the Drop Tower in February and March, and the student analysis of the results will form the basis for a written report that is due to NASA by May 1.

Student teams will be evaluated on both their report and success with the challenge. NASA will then invite the top-performing teams to present their results in a student poster session at the 2018 meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR). The conference location and dates have yet to be announced, but the student session will be on a Saturday, presumably in October or November. Awards will be presented to teams on that day for both challenge success and the poster presentations. ASGSR is expected to provide limited travel support to the invited non-local teams who present their results at the meeting.


QUESTIONS? Please email the challenge staff at Ed-DropTower@lists.nasa.gov.

Marie-Elizabeth Barabas

Managing Editor, Springer Nature

I'm an interdisciplinary neuroscientist with a research background in peripheral sensory/pain research, retinal development, and stem cell research. As the Managing Editor of npj Microgravity, my role is to assist the editorial process, implement editorial policies, and promote the journal, its articles, and the community. I also attend conferences and meetings to develop a relationship with our readers, authors, and editors. If you see me at a conference, feel free to introduce yourself.