“Kids in Micro-g!” is a student experiment design challenge geared toward grades 5-8. Its purpose is to give students a hands-on opportunity to design an experiment or simple demonstration that could be performed both in the classroom and aboard the International Space Station.
The winning experiments will have observably different results when the experiments are performed in the “1-gravity” or “1-g” environment of the classroom, compared to when the experiments are performed by astronauts in the “Micro-g” (one-millionth of 1-g) environment of the space station. The apparatus for the demonstration must be constructed using materials from a materials tool kit provided to the astronauts on board the space station. The tool kit consists of materials commonly found in the classroom and used for science demonstrations.
The experiment demonstration must take no more than 30 minutes to set up, run and take down. Experiment challenge winners and runners-up will be selected regionally and nationally by the Education offices of the ten NASA centers. The ten regional winners, one national winner and one national runner-up winner will have their experiments conducted by the astronauts on board the space station in the April-May 2010 timeframe. The experiments will be recorded in HD video and the winners supplied with copies of their video before the end of their school year.
Experiment proposals may be submitted by educators on behalf of their student groups. Proposals may be submitted via e-mail or postal mail during the period from Jan. 4, 2010, through Feb. 19, 2010.
The winning experiment proposals will be announced on April 2, 2010.
For more information about the challenge, including a scoring rubric, proposal requirements and a list of materials available to the astronauts, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/science/nlab/experimentchallenge.html