CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF STEM EDUCATION

Twenty years ago, America’s first woman in space had retired from NASA and was teaching physics at UC San Diego when she decided it was time to use her famous name to advance a cause she cared about. To help narrow the gender gap in science and engineering, Sally Ride would start a science company. She joined with her life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, and three colleagues – Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee and Alann Lopes – to found Sally Ride Science. Their goal was to promote equity and inclusion for all students, especially girls, in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) studies and careers. Over the years, Sally Ride Science created acclaimed STEM programs for girls and boys of all backgrounds across the country. Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012, and in 2015, Sally Ride Science found a new home as a nonprofit based at UC San Diego under the direction of UC San Diego Extension. Today, as it celebrates its 20th anniversary, Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego continues Ride’s legacy with innovative programs encouraging diversity in STEAM (STEM plus arts). Dr. Edward Abeyta, Extension associate dean for Education and Community Outreach, oversees Sally Ride Science programs, and O’Shaughnessy serves as executive director.

FINDING A HOME AT UC SAN DIEGO

Pioneering astronaut Sally Ride spent almost two decades as a physics professor at UC San Diego, and she felt a close connection to the university’s values and goals. So it was fitting that, three years after Ride’s death, Sally Ride Science relaunched as part of UC San Diego. The company became a nonprofit entity, Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, in 2015, and it has continued to build on Ride’s work by creating programs to promote equity and inclusion in STEAM. The partnership makes perfect sense, said Dr. Edward Abeyta, UC San Diego Extension’s associate dean for Education and Community Outreach, who oversees Sally Ride Science programs. “A key goal of UC San Diego’s Strategic Plan is cultivating a diverse and inclusive university community that takes bold actions to ensure learning is accessible and affordable to all,” Abeyta said. “Sally Ride Science connects directly to this goal by offering programs that provide additional educational access to key target groups, including girls, at-risk youth and first-generation students.”

SALLY RIDE SCIENCE BY THE NUMBERS

Sally Ride’s high-profile advocacy of diversity in science helped start a national dialogue about the importance of involving girls and boys of all backgrounds in STEM studies and careers. But over the years, Sally Ride Science’s programs have also reached and inspired thousands of students and educators on an individual level. Here’s a look at the impact of 20 years of Sally Ride Science programs.

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From 2001 to 2014, Sally Ride Science hosts 100 science festivals on college campuses across the country. More than 50,000 students, mostly girls, take part in the one-day events.

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From 2004 to 2013, Sally Ride Science publishes 90 books for upper elementary and middle school students on topics ranging from astronomy and STEM careers to climate change and sustainability. The books reach an estimated 6 million students.

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Starting in 2016, Sally Ride Science Junior Academy provides summer STEAM workshops for 1,447 students from elementary school through high school.

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Through Sally Ride EarthKAM, more than 600,000 students in 80 countries are able to capture images of Earth from a camera on the International Space Station. Sally Ride Science operates the NASA program at UC San Diego from 2001 to 2015.

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To make sure all students can take advantage of its programs, Sally Ride Science offers scholarships, including $138,555 awarded to students attending the summer Junior Academy.

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Over five years starting in 2009, Sally Ride Science Academy trains more than 30,000 teachers on how to embed diverse role models into science lessons. Some 600 teachers from across the country come to San Diego for in-person instruction and return to their districts to train other educators.

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More than 100,000 students around the world take part in GRAIL MoonKAM, the educational outreach program for NASA’s 2012 GRAIL mission. Sally Ride Science runs MoonKAM, which lets students request photos of the lunar surface from cameras on twin satellites orbiting the Moon.

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Beginning in 2017, Library NExT provides free Sally Ride Science workshops for 4,483 students in grades 3-12. The workshops are offered at 23 library branches around San Diego through a partnership between San Diego Public Library and UC San Diego Extension.

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Over 7 years, more than 1,000 students from across the country took part in TOYchallenge, an engineering design competition started by Sally Ride Science in 2002. Student teams created toys and games in categories like “Toys that Teach” and “Remarkable Robots.”

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

The 2021 Women in Leadership event honors the legacy of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, and also celebrates the 20th anniversary of Sally Ride Science. The panel discussion brings together trailblazers who have shattered barriers and paved the way for women across the globe. That lively and thought-provoking conversation gave rise to an annual event aimed at inspiring girls and women to embrace leadership roles. Through a candid and timely discussion, the distinguished panel will share their personal stories and vision on how women can help lead our nation to a better future.

This year’s virtual panel features a conversation with Brittney Cooper, feminist scholar and author; Kathy Sullivan, trailblazing astronaut and scientist; and Maria Hinojosa, award-winning news anchor and reporter. Lynn Sherr, author and award-winning journalist, will moderate the discussion.

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RESEARCH VESSEL HONORS SALLY RIDE’S LEGACY

In 2013, a year after Sally Ride’s death, U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced that a new state-of-the-art research vessel would be named in her honor. R/V Sally Ride, which was commissioned at San Diego’s Broadway Pier in 2016, is owned by the Navy and operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Tam O’Shaughnessy, Ride’s life partner, serves as ship’s sponsor. The 238-foot ship, one of the most technologically advanced research vessels in the world, carries scientists on expeditions to study the oceans and atmosphere as they address some of the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.

SALLY RIDE SCIENCE JUNIOR ACADEMY

The Sally Ride Science Junior Academy summer program offers science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM) workshops for students entering 3rd-12th grade. During these workshops, students assume the roles of space explorer, marine biologist, computer programmer, and more as they immerse themselves in hands-on projects.

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ONLINE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Sally Ride Science Professional Development offers a robust portfolio of seminars, courses and certificates for diverse audiences, including K-12 and postsecondary instructors; administrators and counselors; tutors; parents; and communities. These programs provide a contextually grounded, role-appropriate and holistic approach to professional enrichment in STEAM education, aligned with the mission of Sally Ride Science, as well as with local, state and national standards.

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IN THE NEWS

 

 

Sally Ride Stamp Dedication Ceremony

Sally Ride: A Champion of Science Literacy

 

FOX 5 News Previews Sally Ride Science Junior Academy Summer Courses

Sally Ride Science Launches STEAM Learning

A HISTORY OF SALLY RIDE SCIENCE

To mark the 20th anniversary of Sally Ride Science, here’s a timeline of key developments and programs over the years.

2001
2001
2001-2014
2001-2014
2001-2015
2001-2015
2002-2009
2002-2009
2004-2013
2004-2013
2009-2014
2009-2014
2012
2012
2012
2012
2015
2015
2016
2016
2016-Present
2016-Present
2017-Present
2017-Present
2018-Present
2018-Present
2018-Present
2018-Present
2018-Present
2018-Present
2019
2019
2019
2019
2021
2021

2001

Sally Ride joins with her life partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, and three colleagues – Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee and Alann Lopes – to found Sally Ride Science. The company is based in La Jolla.

2001-2014

Sally Ride Science organizes more than 100 Sally Ride Science Festivals on college campuses across the country, including UC San Diego. At the one-day events, students, most of them girls, attend workshops and street fairs and hear keynote speeches from female astronauts.

2001-2015

Sally Ride starts EarthKAM in 1995. The NASA program, which is still operating, allows students to request photos of Earth from a camera on the International Space Station. Sally Ride Science operates the program from 2001 to 2015, when EarthKAM moves to the US Space and Rocket Center. After Ride’s death, NASA changes the name to Sally Ride EarthKAM.

2002-2009

Sally Ride Science creates and runs TOYchallenge, a national engineering design competition. Students compete to design and create toys and games in categories like “Toys that Teach” and “Remarkable Robots.” Teams are made up of 5th- to 8th-graders and must be at least 50 percent girls.

2004-2013

Sally Ride science publishes 90 books on STEM subjects and careers. Book series include Cool Careers in STEM and Key Concepts in Science.

2009-2014

The Sally Ride Science Academy for educators brings teachers from across the country to San Diego for training on how to incorporate diverse role models into science lessons. The academy uses a train-the-trainer model to expand its reach.

2012

Sally Ride Science runs GRAIL MoonKAM, the educational outreach program for NASA’s 2012 GRAIL mission, which sends twin satellites to orbit the Moon and map its gravity. MoonKAM allows students around the world to request photos of the lunar surface from cameras on the satellites. On Dec. 17, 2012, NASA crashes the satellites into the Moon and names the impact site in honor of Ride, who had died five months earlier.

2012

Sally Ride dies of pancreatic cancer at home in La Jolla on July 23, 2012.

2015

Sally Ride Science becomes part of UC San Diego under the direction of UC San Diego Extension. The former company is transformed into a nonprofit entity, Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego, with Extension Associate Dean Dr. Edward Abeyta overseeing all programs and cofounder Tam O’Shaughnessy serving as executive director.

2016

Research vessel Sally Ride is commissioned by the US Navy at Broadway Pier in San Diego. The ship is operated by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego, with Sally Ride Science cofounder Tam O’Shaughnessy serving as ship’s sponsor.

2016-Present

UC San Diego Extension launches the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy in 2016. The annual summer program offers dozens of STEAM workshops for grades 4-12. The academy goes online in 2020; this year’s academy, from July 12 to August 6, will also be virtual.

2017-Present

Through Library NExT, a partnership between San Diego Public Library and UC San Diego Extension, Sally Ride Science presents free workshops for students in grades 3-12 in library branches around the city. The workshops begin in 2017 in six library branches and gradually expand to 23 branches. In 2020 the program goes online.

2018-Present

UC San Diego Extension offers online professional development for educators based on curriculum developed by Sally Ride Science. Online classes include “Ignite Student Interest in STEAM” and “Teaching STEM Using the 5Es.”

2018-Present

Sally Ride Science hosts the first Women in Leadership panel discussion in 2018 at UC San Diego’s Price Center to celebrate the release of a U.S. Postal Service Forever stamp in Ride’s honor. Panelists at the annual event have included tennis great Billie Jean King, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

2018-Present

Sally Ride Science partners with Fallbrook School of Arts to offer STEAM workshops for students in kindergarten through high school.

2019

Sally Ride Science partners with ISS National Laboratory to offer space science workshops. Students investigate how microgravity affects heat transfer by programming experiments to run on the International Space Station.

2019

Southwestern College forms a partnership with Sally Ride Science to offer summer STEAM workshops on the college’s campus.

2021

San Diego Unified School District partners with Sally Ride Science to offer STEAM workshops for third-graders at schools in neighborhoods with large military populations. The program is funded by a grant from the Department of Defense Education Activity office.

FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT PARTNERSHIPS OR GIVING OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT

Ed Abeyta
Associate Dean,
Education and Community Outreach,
UC San Diego Extension

eabeyta@ucsd.edu

FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT COMMUNITY OR EDUCATOR PROGRAMS CONTACT

Morgan Appel
Assistant Dean,
Education and Community Outreach,
UC San Diego Extension

mappel@ucsd.edu

FOR INQUIRIES ABOUT
SALLY RIDE SCIENCE PROGRAMS CONTACT

Megan Lancaster
Program Manager,
Education and Community Outreach,
UC San Diego Extension

mlancaster@ucsd.edu