Happy Birthday Sally Ride! Even three years after her death, Sally is still inspiring kids around the world to study science.
Sally Ride became the first American women in space in 1983. She worked incredibly hard for that honor, first studying at Swarthmore College and later at Stanford University, earning degrees in both English and physics. She went on to earn her masters and PhD in physics. While finishing her PhD, she applied for a position in the NASA space program.
Even after being offered a job at NASA, Sally still had to work hard to prove herself. The job of astronaut had always been filled by men, and many people had trouble accepting the idea that a woman could do a good job. Sally faced discrimination from people at NASA, from the public, and from the media.
Sally joined the crew of the space shuttle Challenger on June 18, 1983. She and the crew performed several experiments in space and deployed two communications satellites. Sally went to space once more and spent more than 343 hours in space during her lifetime! After retiring from NASA, Sally became a writer and a professor. She died in 2012.
Sally’s story is an inspiring one for both girls and boys. Visit these sites and discover how Sally Ride is still inspiring schoolchildren and teachers alike:
- The Sally Ride EarthKam (Earth Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students): If you were in space, where would you want to look? A camera mounted on the International Space Station takes its orders from students and educators in schools around the country. Have fun browsing past images taken from this camera. Maybe your school can sign up for a future mission!
- Sally Ride Science: Here you can find biographies of people with cool careers, explore science education websites, and get news about scientific events. A fun site for students and educators!
- Sally Ride Science Camps: Science programs for girls entering grades 4 through 9. These camps offer girls the opportunity to immerse themselves in science during a weekling residential camp experience. Not only will they have fun and learn loads, but they’ll get to hang out with other girls who love science, too!