I was very sad to hear of the untimely death of Sally Ride. We lost a great American, teacher and advocate for young women in STEM. It will be my hope that her legacy will continue to live and thrive in her honor. Perhaps even young women will take a new or second look at STEM careers as a result of the publicity from her death.
When I think of the accomplishments of this woman, I am in awe. Not only was she the first woman in space, an accomplishment in itself, but also, she was an accomplished scientist and astrophysicist, notable for anyone. In addition, she started her company Sally Ride Science to create materials, programs and professional development to advance science for school children.
The site is: https://www.sallyridescience.com/
It is always hard to understand why someone dies before their time. I never do understand it. It seems many live beyond their time offering very little while some still have so much to give. Did she do what she needed to do? Certainly she was not done. Perhaps it is not for me to judge. I think even if Sally Ride were 85, we would still feel sad. A great voice is silent, but as a nation, we must still hear that voice.
I cannot imagine for one minute what it would be like to go into space. Think about it. Maybe it is a fantasy for many, but imagine yourself strapped in, outfitted with your space gear, and ready for takeoff. I don’t think my heart would stay in my body. I am clearly not cut out for such. Aren’t we grateful for those who are? Those who dare to dream and to do? Grateful for those who step into the unknown with no fear. Grateful for those who will charter the unknown and explore.
After Ride’s death several days ago, the big news became about her personal life, as if that should be her legacy. As if only women who want to be men can succeed in a man’s world. For those who find the interest there, don’t read this blog. My homage to Sally Ride is that she did what was her passion, and she hoped to inspire others, both male and female to do the same. To honor Sally Ride for her service to our country and contributions to better the education of children stands out. It is one thing to do, and another to give back by mentoring others. That in itself is the legacy. We honor Sally Ride for what she did inspire, for what she will yet inspire.
I share the dream for young women. I feel the passion for those to go beyond what we know to dare to dream and discover. There should be no gender distinction in developing potential and realizing success. Thank you Sally Ride for following your dream and saying, “Why not?” Your legacy will be realized as other young women will share your passion. May you rest in peace.
An Article from Education Week Teacher: Sally ride’s Legacy to Teachers: http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2012/07/31/fp_sheaffer_ride.html?tkn=LTNFC3E6e%2FmY4jIKzpw8P3kAmhIeIUC%2BzjLC&cmp=ENL-TU-NEWS1
NASA’s biography of Sally Ride : http://www.nasa.gov/topics/people/features/ride.html