Sally Ride Science K-12 Education Programs
Sally Ride Science
9191 Towne Centre Drive
San Diego, CA 92122
Phone: (800) 561-5161
Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, founded Sally Ride Science in 2001 to create programs and products designed to educate, entertain, engage, and inspire. A key part of the company’s corporate mission is to make a difference in girls’ lives and in society’s perception of girls’ roles in technical fields.
The company offers a range of education programs, including the Sally Ride Science Classroom Set on Science Careers, a staff development symposium on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers, science festivals, after-school programs, and online content.
The Sally Ride Science Classroom Set on Science Careers brings to life the inspiring personal stories of today’s scientists and engineers. Developed for upper elementary and middle school classrooms, the Classroom Set includes eight copies of four titles
on exciting careers in earth, space, health, and environmental sciences. The program can be expanded with additional Career Books focusing on engineering and aerospace.
The company’s staff development session on STEM careers is designed for educators working with students in grades six through nine. The half-day symposium focuses on the wide variety of STEM careers, the many paths to becoming a scientist, and the vibrant individuals involved in science today. The program provides educators with inquiry-based, hands-on activities that can be used in the classroom to encourage students to think about their interests and future careers, as well as their short- and long-term goals.
Sally Ride Science holds Science Festivals throughout the country each year to bring together hundreds of girls in grades five through eight for a day of science and socializing. The festivals feature discovery workshops with local scientists such as veterinarians, microbiologists, engineers, chemists, and astronomers. At these events, students have the opportunity to listen to inspiring talks and to work with scientists on a variety of hands-on science projects.
The company’s after-school programs focus on grades five through eight. The Toy Workshop, a semester-long curriculum, offers students the opportunity to become engineers as they design a toy. The program helps build a number of important skills including teamwork, visualization, research, 3D construction, brainstorming, communicating ideas, designing on paper, testing, and refining plans.
The Sally Ride Science online blogs examine a variety of current science topics. At the time this article was written, a blog titled Our Changing Climate appeared on the company’s home-page. Additional blogs on the site included Careers in Science, Pluto & the Dwarfs, and Educator-Astronaut: Barbara Morgan.
Sally Ride Science also provides content from its Astronomy Classroom Set to Google Earth’s Sky feature. The material covers extra-solar places—nebulae where stars are born, remnants of exploding stars, and stars that have planets orbiting around them.
In addition, Sally Ride posts a blog on Google Earth to share her insights and experiences about space and science. The first installment can be found at http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/view-from-sky.html.