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USA Science & Engineering Festival – Role Models in Science & Engineering Achievement

Sally Ride

Sally Ride-- Astronaut

"For whatever reason, I didn't succumb to the stereotype that science wasn't for girls"

While completing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University in 1977, Sally Ride became intrigued by a NASA newspaper ad seeking astronaut candidates. Her decision to answer that advertisement would change her life forever.

When she and with four fellow astronauts blasted off aboard the space shuttle Challenger in June 1983, she became the first American woman—and, at 32, the youngest American—in space. Sally's historic flight made her a symbol of the ability of women to break barriers and a hero to generations of adventurous young girls.

She later used her passion and energy to establish Sally Ride Science, a nationally-known science education endeavor dedicated to inspire young people—especially girls—to stick with their interest in science and to consider pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Since her death from pancreatic cancer last year, the enthusiasm she ignited among students in this mission continues to burn brightly.