Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego has announced an innovative series of summer workshops aimed at getting girls in middle school and high school excited about STEAM topics and careers.

The Sally Ride Science Junior Academy for Girls offers 12 weeklong workshops in a range of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) subjects. Students will immerse themselves in hands-on projects, assuming the roles of geophysicist, space scientist oceanographer, and computer engineer. Top STEAM educators will lead the workshops, and students will learn about real-life scientists and engineers conducting exciting research in each field.

The program is part of a new partnership between UC San Diego and Sally Ride Science, an education company that Ride and her long-time partner, Tam O’Shaughnessy, cofounded with three friends in 2001. Ride, who was the first American woman in space, and the other founders were committed to expanding educational opportunities in science, especially for girls and young women.

The goal of the new partnership is to continue and expand that important mission. O’Shaughnessy is executive director of Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego, and Karen Flammer, another Sally Ride Science cofounder, is director of education.

“With its focus on future generations—especially girls and historically underrepresented K-12 students—Sally Ride Science aligns with the university’s Strategic Plan goals to expand existing initiatives and implement new approaches that result in accessible and affordable learning,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “This newly created summer program is the first of many that will inspire and encourage young students to pursue STEAM education.”

The Sally Ride Science Junior Academy is aimed at girls entering grades 6 through 12 in 2016-2017. Workshop topics include Music of Earthquakes, A Fish-eye View of the Ocean, Introduction to Video Game Programming and Introduction to Robotics.

The program offers three weeks of one-week workshops from July 11 through July 29. A half-day workshop costs $150, and a full day is $250. If a student signs up for the full three weeks, the cost is $695. On the last day of each session, students will participate in a showcase to share what they have created and learned with girls in other workshops.

To find out more about the program, visit

Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego is coordinated jointly by UC San Diego Extension, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the San Diego Supercomputer Center. The three entities helped to develop the courses for the summer workshops.

The workshops also are inspired by Sally Ride Science’s successful program and book series Cool Careers in STEM, which explores the exciting career possibilities in a wide variety of fields, including engineering, biotechnology, and Earth sciences.


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