Historical Figure & Event

Sally Ride, first American woman in space, was born in 1951.

May 26
Calendar Activity Type
Historical Figure & Event

Event Description

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.

Classroom Activity

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
Suite L101
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.


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.

Sally Ride was inducted into the Hall in 1988. This page provides information about Ride and her work.

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.

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.

Related Resources