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.
- 2021 – Michael Drews, Program Manager at Lockheed Martin, for his conceptualization, development, and implementation of a multi-generational event, Student Career Arcs to Professional Engineers (STEM-SCAPE) conference, which has reached over 720 students since 2015. His vision and actions have led numerous students to pursue and fulfill STEM education and careers.