Space Superstar Sally Ride Was Science Pioneer

Sally Ride earth space astronaut

Each year on May 26, Americans celebrate the life of the iconic Sally Ride, remembered for the pioneering spirit that carried her toward the stars.

From an early age, Sally Kristen Ride was attracted to science. She thought it was fun. And she enjoyed the challenge of coming up with ways to solve problems. In 1978, she earned a doctorate degree in physics from Stanford University.

Five years later, Ride was a NASA astronaut, weightless and gazing at earth from a window of the space shuttle Challenger. She was the first American woman in space. And the experience only strengthened her ideas about where science could take us.

She flew one more mission with NASA before later teaching physics at the University of California, San Diego, and serving as director of the school’s California Space Institute.

In 2001, she started Sally Ride Science. The company’s goal was to encourage children to study science and math. Ride was especially hopeful that she could help girls discover the glamour of science. She wrote science books and developed various educational programs for the effort.

“For whatever reason, I didn’t succumb to the stereotype that science wasn’t for girls,” she’s quoted as saying. “I got encouragement from my parents. I never ran into a teacher or a counselor who told me science was (just) for boys. A lot of my friends did.”

Ride died in 2012, but Sally Ride Science continues to push for science education. The non-profit develops programs and books for students and teachers in areas of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM). And the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy, created last year, offers hands-on workshops for children in STEAM fields.

Ride believed science should play an important role in everyone’s life. That’s why she worked so hard to change ideas about who could pursue it. She knew the best investment in our future was in educating our children.

At Infinite Energy, we believe this, too. That’s why our corporate citizenship program focuses on helping to educate children in the communities we serve. And that’s why we’re happy remembering pioneers like Sally Ride.