Dr. Sally Ride (2003)
First Anne Morrow Lindbergh Award Presented at the San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, California
| ||"Dr. Sally Ride is one of our nation's most beloved educators, scientists, and is well known in the aerospace/aviation field as the first American woman to enter outer space in 1983," remarked Reeve Lindbergh. During her four years at NASA, Ride made two space flights, and following the Challenger explosion in 1986, she was assigned to help determine what went wrong with that flight. Her first mission, however, ushered her not only into the history books, but also into an elite category of pioneers, forging paths for others to follow and opening doors for deeper exploration and wonder. The mission also established her as a respected role model for young women around the country, in much the same way as Anne Morrow Lindbergh inspired so many women in her day to explore aviation. Ride's position that she did not enter the space program "to become an historic figure or a symbol of progress for women" sounds eerily similar to beliefs held by Charles Lindbergh before his historic New York-to-Paris flight. But fame follows "firsts" -- like it or not. Ride worked at NASA until 1987 when she accepted a fellowship at Stanford.|
In 1989, she stepped out of the limelight and into academia. Ride is currently a physics professor at the University of California in San Diego. But like Lindbergh, she re-emerged from the quiet life and began using her tremendous influence in aviation/aerospace to inspire others. Already a dedicated educator, Ride brings her expertise to young women and girls who are interested in science, math and technology and encourages them to continue to pursue their studies and discover that science is fun. In 2000, following her long-held dream of encouraging just these ideals, Ride founded Imaginary Lines, Inc., which operates the Sally Ride Science Club. Targeted at girls in grades 5-8, Imaginary Lines creates events, programs and activities that support girls' interests in these fields, which are often dominated by men. "One of our goals is to make girls feel like they belong to the scientific community and help them connect to this community and stay involved," says Ride. The Science Club represents another "first" for Dr. Ride. It is the first national club designed to support girls in their exploration of the universe of science and technology. Furthermore, it connects girls to people, information and attitudes that support their interest in science. It is committed to encouraging and empowering girls in their exploration of fields ranging from astrobiology to zoology, and from environmental engineering to rocket science. "We hope to encourage girls by engaging them in science adventures," Ride said in the Oct. 2002 World Traveler. Ride has written several science books for children, directs an Internet-based NASA education project for middle school students, and has been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame.
For more information, go to Sally Ride Science