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


  • 2020 – Elizabeth Newton, for re-imagining traditional higher education by radically transforming the OSU Battelle Center through expanding student’s potential creating a community based around a shared interest in space, connecting students from STEM, political science to medicine. (The Sally Ride Excellence in Education Award will be presented at the 2021 AAS Wernher von Braun Memorial Symposium taking place in Huntsville, Alabama in October)
  • 2019 – David Seidel
  • 2018 – No Award Given
  • 2017 – Deborah Barnhart
  • 2016 – Destin Sandlin
  • 2015 – Lynn Cominsky
  • 2014 – Theresa Schwerin