This Sally Ride Science pin was owned by Dr. Sally K. Ride. She served as president and CEO of the company which she founded in 2001 along with Dr. Tam O'Shaughnessy, Dr. Karen Flammer, and two like-minded friends. The company was created as a response to the gender gap seen in science and technical fields. Young girls have the same aptitude and enthusiasm for science as boys, but Ride believed that they tend not to pursue science later in life because of cultural stereotypes and lack of role models. The company sought to counteract this imbalance with events, programs, and products to promote science education. The scope of Sally Ride Science was gradually expanded so that it now strives to inspire all students to a greater appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). A Sally Ride Science polo shirt is also in the Museum's collection.
Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when she flew aboard STS-7 in 1983. Her second and last space mission was STS-41G in 1984. A physicist with a Ph.D., she joined the astronaut corps in 1978 as a part of the first class of astronauts recruited specifically for the Space Shuttle Program. Viewed as a leader in the NASA community, she served on the Rogers Commission after the Challenger disaster in 1986 as well as the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) in 2003. She also led the task force that produced a visionary strategic planning report in 1987 titled, “NASA Leadership and America’s Future in Space,” but known popularly as the Ride Report.
After she retired from NASA in 1987, Dr. Ride taught first at Stanford and later at the University of California, San Diego. Until her death in 2012, she was president and CEO of Sally Ride Science.
Dr. Ride’s partner, Dr. Tam O’Shaughnessy, donated the pin to the Museum in 2013.