Pioneering Scientists: Cumberland County Students’ Innovative Space Experiments Set for International Space Station Launch

Cumberland County students vie for chance to send science experiments to International Space Station

The International Space Station is set to receive a special science payload from the 3rd annual STARward STEM Expo, which was held on Tuesday at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville. Over 200 students representing teams from kindergarten through 12th grade participated in the event, showcasing their innovative science projects.

Frank McKay, Cumberland County STEM Education Director, highlighted the significance of promoting education through such events and emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of communities and the country. The experiments conducted by students can range from simple to complex based on their interests and goals.

One team, called the Fly Guys, is investigating whether plant seeds can grow in outer space using a mystic tube separated into three sections. Another team, called Mars Rover Investigators, explored the effects of perchlorates, a chemical compound found in Martian soil, on aerospace aluminum alloy. Denise Renfro, a teacher in Cumberland County who led this team, shared the success of students who discovered the presence of perchlorates 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 the program.

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

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