Sally Ride Education Award

The Sally Ride Excellence in Education Award recognizes an outstanding educator in either a) the delivery of space education or b) the use of space in STEM education. Both K-12 educators and college/graduate-level educators can be nominated.

Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, started Sally Ride Science in 2001 to inspire young people—especially girls—to stick with their interest in science and to consider pursuing careers in science and engineering. She served as CEO of the company until her death on July 23, 2012, after a 17-month battle with pancreatic cancer. In 2013 Sally was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor.

Award Criteria


  • 2023 – Bob Kovalchik is recognized for decades of inspirational efforts as a professional educator and selfless volunteer to inform and relate the wonders of aviation and space flight to captivated audiences of all ages.
  • 2022 – Janet Ivey-Duensing
  • 2022 – Professor Robert Twiggs
  • 2021 – Michael Drews
  • 2020 – Elizabeth Newton
  • 2019 – David Seidel
  • 2018 – No Award Given
  • 2017 – Deborah Barnhart
  • 2016 – Destin Sandlin
  • 2015 – Lynn Cominsky
  • 2014 – Theresa Schwerin