Sally Ride Science

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Sally Ride Science
Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego Logo Small.png
FounderSally Ride, Tam O'Shaughnessy, Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee, Alann Lopes
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationSan Diego, California

Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego is a nonprofit run by the University of California, San Diego. It was founded as a company in 2001 by Sally Ride, America's first woman in space, along with Tam O'Shaughnessy, Karen Flammer, Terry McEntee, and Alann Lopes to inspire young people in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and to promote STEM literacy.[1][2][3] Sally Ride Science was relaunched at UC San Diego on October 1, 2015.[4] It is based at UC San Diego Extension, and its programs are coordinated jointly by UC San Diego Extension, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and San Diego Supercomputer Center.[5] O'Shaughnessy is executive director and Flammer is director of education for Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego.


Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego focuses on professional development for teachers; K-12 STEM + Arts (STEAM) education, including courses, lectures, and camps; and online programs through UCTV.[4] The goal is to help educators build students’ STEM literacy and make connections between what students are learning and the STEM fields that are expected to experience rapid job growth in the coming decades. The nonprofit will create new programs and make use of existing Sally Ride Science programs.

Existing programs include Cool Careers in STEM, which provides professional development for teachers and classroom resources (student books, teacher guides, and a STEM Career Connections Teacher Activity Guide) to awaken students’ interest in STEM topics and careers. Research shows that learning about STEM careers and the diverse people working in these fields inspires students and makes the study of science, technology, engineering, and math more meaningful to them.[6]

Another major existing program is Key Concepts in Science. This integrated standards-based program provides professional development for educators on how to teach science using the 5E instructional model, along with classroom resources (student books, hands-on investigations, teacher guides, and assessments) that educators can use to build students’ STEM literacy and college and career readiness. The program reflects research showing that teaching fewer science concepts in greater depth gives students a solid foundation to develop STEM literacy.[7]


Before its acquisition by UC San Diego, Sally Ride Science implemented a variety of STEM-related educational initiatives. The company:

  • organized 100 Sally Ride Science Festivals on college campuses around the country.[8]
  • created and ran a National Engineering Design (TOYchallenge) competition for eight years and created a documentary film (Some Assembly Required) following five teams of boys and girls during the 2008 competition.[9]
  • created 90 STEM and STEM careers books with comprehensive teacher guides, and more than 200 hands-on STEM investigations.[8]
  • developed and held the Sally Ride Science Academy for six years, using a train-the-trainer model.
  • trained more than 30,000 teachers and reached more than 6 million students with STEM and STEM careers books.[8]
  • operated EarthKAM (based on Sally Ride's idea to let students take photos of Earth from space and use them in their studies), engaging more than 600,000 students and their teachers in 80 countries.[10]
  • helped spark the national discussion and shift the national perspective on the importance of involving girls and underrepresented minority students in STEM as they go through school and beyond.[11]


  1. ^ "Sally Ride Science—About". Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Change the Equation". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Sally Ride Science officially joins TDLC as a corporate partner". Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  4. ^ a b Bowler, Matthew. "Sally Ride Science becomes part of UC San Diego". KPBS. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  5. ^ Piercey, Judy; Davies, Jennifer. "Sally Ride Science launches at UC San Diego". UCSD News. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Practice Guides: Encouraging Girls in Math and Science". National Center for Education Research. Retrieved 10 July 2016.
  7. ^ "The Next Generation Science Standards". Next Generation Science Standards. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  8. ^ a b c "Homepage". Sally Ride Science. Archived from the original on 11 November 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  9. ^ "^"TOYchallenge: A toy design contest encourages both girls and boys to take an interest in engineering."". Student Science. 22 December 2003. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
  10. ^ "Growing Young Scientists". JAXA. Retrieved 11 November 2015.
  11. ^ Marklein, Mary Beth. "Astronaut Sally Ride's educational legacy lives on". USA Today. Retrieved 11 November 2015.