Students from Cumberland County vie for the chance to send their science experiments to the International Space Station

The 3rd annual STARward STEM Expo was recently held at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville. Over 200 students representing teams from kindergarten through 12th grade attended the event, showcasing their science projects and experiments.

One student, Maura Richard, expressed her excitement about the opportunity to design her own projects and potentially send them 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.

Cumberland County STEM Education Director Frank McKay highlighted the importance of promoting education through events like the STEM Expo. He emphasized the value of focusing on what communities and the country need right now in terms of education.

The experiments at the expo can range from simple to complex, with student teams testing various topics such as plant growth in outer space and perchlorates’ effects on aerospace materials. Denise Renfro, a teacher in Cumberland County, shared how past experiments have led to exciting discoveries and opportunities for their projects to be sent to the International Space Station (ISS).

The winning teams of this year’s STARward STEM Expo will be announced on Tuesday evening, highlighting their innovative and creative work that has contributed to scientific advancements and future space exploration opportunities.

By Samantha Johnson

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