From NSTA Bloggers Peggy Ashbrook and Mary Bigelow:
Whether we had met her personally or not, the death of astronaut, physicist, and educator Dr. Sally Ride deeply saddened us. Dr. Meg Urry speaks for many women in science when she writes about Dr. Sally Ride, “…thanks to her notoriety as a NASA astronaut, I found out about one more precious role model, someone in whose steps I could hope to follow. (OK, not the astronaut part — I am far too chicken for that.) Ride made success seem attainable, even in the men-only world of physics.” See her full statement here.
I hadn’t realized what Sally Ride’s achievements and life work meant to me until I heard that she died at only 61 and I immediately teared up. Even though I thought, “Of course women can and should,” at the time of her first space mission, it was Dr. Ride’s accomplished example that confirmed this. – Peggy Ashbrook
Sally’s first mission took place after school was out for the summer (June 18, 1983). But for her next mission in October 1984, my colleagues and I had the television on to watch with our students when two women astronauts were part of the team. The look on the girls’ faces (and mine) was priceless. – Mary Bigelow
Having role models is not enough to empower girls to pursue their interest in science. Dr. Ride established a company (Sally Ride Science) to support girls’ (and boys’) interest in science and to educate teachers.
Thank you, Sally Ride, for continuing to inspire and support girls and women in science during your career as an astronaut, physicist, and educator. Your leadership and example will be missed.
Links from the Sally Ride Science site:
Contributions of 20th-Century Women to Physics — An archive presenting and documenting some important and original contributions made before 1976 by 20th century women.
Role Model Project for Girls — A resource center for collaborative work among women’s groups, inquisitive feminists, women activists, and others.
The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering — The Archives of Women in Science and Engineering seeks to preserve the historical heritage of American women in science and engineering.