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.
- 2019, David Seidel, for exceptional service in creating and implementing transformative K-12 STEM education programs and experiences for the benefit of NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, educators, students, and the public.