Three experiments from the STARward STEM Design Challenge will soon be headed into space to be tested on board the International Space System. The targeted launch date for NASA’s SpaceX CRS-29 mission is Thursday, November 9 at 8:28pm from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch date and time may be adjusted due to weather conditions. For more information on the launch, click here.

The winning design-challenge experiments were chosen at the STARward STEM Expo at Douglas Byrd High School in January 2023. They are “Space Candy ‘Rocks’ with Vitamin D” from Vanstory Hills Elementary School, “Swiss Chard” from William H. Owen Elementary School, and “Dr. B.C. Frankincense” from Seventy First Classical Middle School.

STARward STEM is a collaboration with Cumberland County Schools, RTI International, Emerging Technology Institute and other partners. The goal is for students to create STAR moments: “Something they’ll always remember,” while gaining a hands-on education in science, technology, engineering and math. The program addresses growing STEM workforce needs by providing equity-focused access to STEM education for students in elementary and secondary schools in Cumberland County.

STARward STEM is funded by a National Defense Education Program (NDEP) grant provided by the U.S. Department of Defense STEM. The three-year program focuses on Space as one of DoD’s modernization priorities and aims to combine the wonder of cutting-edge scientific discovery with real-world applications that ignite students’ creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

The Fayetteville Cumberland County Economic Development Corporation (FCEDC) is a proud supporter of the STARward STEM program. The program is molding the future workforce of Cumberland County by sparking an interest in STEM-based careers by encouraging students to think and learn in new ways.

Grant funding for this program will be ending soon. Stay tuned for fundraising opportunities to keep STARward STEM alive in Cumberland County Schools.

Photo used with permission from Cumberland County Schools.