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

The 3rd annual STARward STEM Expo recently took place at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville. Over 200 students representing teams from kindergarten through 12th grade attended the event, which saw experiments ranging from simple to complex. One student, Maura Richard, expressed her excitement about the opportunity to design her own projects and potentially send them into space.

Cumberland County STEM Education Director Frank McKay emphasized the importance of promoting education through events like the STEM Expo. He highlighted the value of focusing on what communities and the country need right now in terms of education. Experiments at the expo can range from simple to complex, with student team The Fly Guys testing whether plant seeds can grow in outer space being just one example.

Denise Renfro, a teacher in Cumberland County, recalled a past experiment that investigated the effects of perchlorates on aerospace materials and how it related to corrosion on the Mars rover. The innovation and creativity of students participating in the expo have led to exciting discoveries and opportunities for their projects to be sent to the International Space Station as “science payload.”

The winners of this year’s STARward STEM Expo will be announced on Tuesday evening.

By Aiden Johnson

As a content writer at, I have a passion for crafting engaging and informative articles that captivate readers. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, I strive to deliver content that not only informs but also entertains. My goal is to create compelling narratives that resonate with our audience and keep them coming back for more. Whether I'm delving into the latest news topics or exploring in-depth features, I am dedicated to producing high-quality content that informs, inspires, and sparks curiosity.

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