Sun. Jun 16th, 2024
Cumberland County students vie for chance to send science experiments to International Space Station

The 3rd annual STARward STEM Expo was held on Tuesday at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, with over 200 students representing teams from kindergarten through 12th grade. Cumberland County STEM Education Director Frank McKay highlighted the significance of promoting education through events like the STEM Expo and emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of communities and the country.

The winning teams will have their science projects sent to the International Space Station as a “science payload.” Maura Richard expressed excitement about the opportunity to create their own designs and potentially see them sent into space. In addition to the student winners, two teachers and a principal will attend the Space Academy for Educators in June at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Alabama.

One of the teams, Fly Guys, is investigating whether plant seeds can grow in outer space using a mystic tube separated into three sections. The experiments conducted by students can range from simple to complex based on their interests and goals. Denise Renfro, a teacher in Cumberland County, shared her success with students who discovered the presence of perchlorates, a chemical compound found in Martian soil, after investigating corrosion on the Mars rover’s wheels. These students were among the first to have their experiments sent to the ISS as part of this program.

The winners of this year’s STEM Expo will be announced on Tuesday evening, marking another successful event that encourages young minds to explore science and technology possibilities beyond Earth’s boundaries.

By Aiden Nguyen

As a content writer at, I delve into the realms of storytelling with the power of words. With a knack for research and a passion for crafting compelling narratives, I strive to bring forth engaging and informative articles for our readers. From decoding complex concepts to unraveling current events, I aim to captivate and educate through the art of writing. Join me on this journey as we explore the ever-evolving landscape of news and knowledge together.

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