San Diego, CA, June 16, 2014—Sally Ride EarthKAM will be receiving a Top Results Award at the 3rd Annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference, being held June 17-19, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. This conference is organized by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) with the support of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and NASA.
“It is a great honor to receive this award on behalf of the team, because it honors the legacy of NASA astronaut, Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space,” said Dr. Karen Flammer, Director of the EarthKAM program and a co-founder of Sally Ride Science. “Sally initiated EarthKAM in 1994, and I have been fortunate to work on this program since its inception.
“Sally was an advocate for improved science education, and realized that space exploration was a perfect way to inspire students to pursue science and engineering. EarthKAM has stimulated student interest in STEM by allowing them to use the EarthKAM camera on the space station to learn more about Earth’s topography, landforms, climate and geologic processes.”
Approximately 500,000 middle school students, representing thousands of schools in 78 countries, have participated in EarthKAM since the program began, taking more than 75,000 images of Earth. Additionally, more than 500 undergraduate students at the University of California, San Diego—which houses the EarthKAM program—have received scholarships or academic credit to work on the program.
Originally called KidSat, and then ISS EarthKAM, the program was renamed by NASA in May, 2013, to acknowledge Dr. Ride’s role in establishing EarthKAM, and in working tirelessly as its champion throughout her life.
“After Sally Ride Science, EarthKAM is one of Sally’s greatest legacies for students and STEM educators everywhere,” says Dr. Flammer. “EarthKAM is a perfect example of how igniting student interest in STEM in the classroom can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers in STEM. Many of the students who have interned at EarthKAM’s Mission Operation Center at UCSD had earlier participated in an EarthKAM mission while in middle school or high school. And some of UCSD’s EarthKAM interns have gone on to work at NASA. For those students, EarthKAM has played a central role in their own discovery of STEM careers.”