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Sally Ride Science Festival Draws Girls to Science and Math

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Sally Ride and Jennifer Rosser
Above: Sally Ride, America's first woman astronaut, visits with Jennifer Rosser (USGS, St. Petersburg, FL) at the Sally Ride Science Festival held at Brevard Community College on January 24.

A lady astronaut wearing a blue jumpsuit decorated with prestigious badges excited the crowd, like a movie star walking down the red carpet. Her mission: to introduce as many young girls as possible to math-, science-, and engineering-related careers. "Our future lies with today's kids and tomorrow's space exploration," said Sally Ride, America's first woman astronaut.

Approximately 600 girls in grades 5 through 8, their interested parents, and educators participated in "Reach for the Stars" at the Sally Ride Science Festival held January 24 at Brevard Community College's Cocoa Campus in Cocoa, FL. The keynote speech, delivered by Ride, aimed to energize a new generation of American girls to explore careers in math, science, and engineering. Participants also enjoyed a street fair and attended Discovery Workshops. The girls could choose 2 career-day workshops from a list of 22. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) participated in the festival with a booth next to NASA's exhibit. A total of 20 organizations hosted booths during the street-fair segment of the festival, each in support of the advancement of women in science and math.

Local professional women organized the workshops and briefed the girls on topics that included aquaculture, astronomy, aviation, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, computer-information technology, graphic design, mathematics, oceanography, plant pathology, rocket science, structural engineering, and veterinary medicine. Currently, 8 of the 10 fastest-growing occupations in America are related to science, math, or technology.

The Sally Ride Science Festivals target girls of middle-school age because figures from the National Center for Education Statistics reveal that approximately the same number of girls as boys in the 4th grade enjoy math and science, yet boys in the 8th grade are twice as likely to be interested in math and science than girls of the same age.

Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Hosts a Booth at the Sally Ride Science Festival at Stanford University
November 2003

Related Web Sites
Sally Ride Science Club
Imaginary Lines, Inc.
Sally Ride Science Festivals
Imaginary Lines, Inc.
St. Petersburg Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Search for Instruments Yields New Data

Submarine Ground Water in Rhode Island

Research Underwater Microscope System Patented

Outreach Sally Ride Science Festival

Meeting Highlights Florida's Natural Beauty

Meetings Coastal Environmental Indicators Workshop

Internet Tools Featured at Tampa Bay Workshop

Awards Normark and Oremland Selected AGU Fellows

Geist Awarded AGU's Citation for Excellence

Staff & Center News USGS Employees Donate Toys

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