Sally Ride: Astronaut, Leader … Teacher.

Posted on 07/24/12 No Comments

The first American woman in space died. Sally Ride was 61.

Sally Ride was not only an American hero, she stood for something much bigger: the importance of science education for girls.

After her time in NASA aircraft, Ride created Sally Ride Science, a company that trains science teachers and leads science camps and events for middle-school girls. She’s also a part of two programs dedicated to sharing knowledge of space with middle school-aged kids: GRAIL MoonKAM (Knowledge Acquired by Middle School Students) and EarthKAM. Both efforts involve cameras and data collection tools attached to orbiting satellites and the International Space Station, respectively.

Most people in education understand the state of science and math education in the United States. We’re behind. We should be in the lead. Sally Ride realized this years ago, as did former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt when he created the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in 1981, one of the best high schools in the nation.

Ms. Ride’s accomplishments in space helped further push the public persona of women as capable leaders and drivers of innovation. Thankfully, her impact on the young women around the country who want to be like her can continue. This is why she’s a hero.

Image from Sally Ride

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