What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
Sally Ride, first American woman in space, was born in 1951.
|Grades||3 – 8|
|Calendar Activity Type||Historical Figure & Event|
On May 26, 1951, Sally Kristen Ride was born in Encino, California. In 1983, Ride became the first American woman in space as member of the space shuttle Challenger crew STS-7. She was a member of the panels investigating the Challenger explosion and the space shuttle Columbia disaster.
The StarKids Who's Who collection includes background information about Sally Ride's career.
After exploring the information about Dr. Ride on the site, write a letter to her foundation, Sally Ride Science. Have students brainstorm, as a class, things that they would like to ask about Dr. Ride's life and legacy. Narrow the list down to the questions that they're most curious about, and then have students compose a class letter, asking one or two of these questions, using the Letter Generator.
Send the students' letter to:
Sally Ride Science
9191 Towne Centre Drive
San Diego, CA 92122
Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope, and have students ask for a reply. More tips are available for the Letter Generator.
- Biographical Data
NASA offers this biography with details on Ride's educational background and career. It follows her progression from astronaut school to the first American woman in space to her career as a professor at the University of California, San Diego.
- National Women's Hall of Fame: Sally Ride
Sally Ride was inducted into the Hall in 1988. This page provides information about Ride and her work.
- Sally Ride Science
The website for Sally Ride's company includes information on space and science-related topics, resource links with an emphasis on girls in science, and information about Ride's science programs and products.
- What Was the Space Shuttle?
This page from the NASA site for students offers information about the space shuttle appropriate for elementary students. Older students can also explore the main Space Shuttle site.
Grades 5 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  August 7
After students view the first picture from the Explorer VI Satellite, they discuss the differences between this first image and the images of the earth that we typically see today.
Grades 3 – 12 | Calendar Activity |  January 28
Students interview a parent or another adult about the Challenger and hypothesize about differences. Students can also write about the Columbia disaster in 2003.