Kevin S. Barrow blogged an important announcement at Home of the Soul Cookie entitled "Sally Ride Science Fair Needs Presenters." Specifically, women with expertise in engineering, mathematics, science, and technology are needed to lead hands-on workshops for girls and adults at the Sally Ride Science Festivals. The festival's focus is:
5th-8th grade girls, trying to get them more interested in the fields of Science, Technology (all forms, inc. Computing), Engineering and Math, since they are so underrepresented in those fields at a professional level.
Presenter roles are pro bono but high profile. Also needed are sponsors to send one or more girls to the festivals. The $18 registration fee covers lunch, the street fair, workshops, and keynote speech. Street fair exhibitors, parents, teachers, and other interested adults are welcome to participate, too. As SallyRideFestivals.com describes:
The street fair has music, face painters, and about 30 booths and exhibits (for example: making slime, looking through telescopes). Some of the booths have giveaways; there are no vendors, but there is a merchandise booth with t-shirts, books and other items.
Dr. Sally Ride is a former astronaut and the first woman to orbit in space. Biographies such as Pioneering Astronaut Sally Ride: A Myreportlinks.Com Book (Space Flight Adventures and Disasters) by Henry M. Holden describe her exciting and illustrious nine-year career with NASA's highly selective astronaut program. Dr. Ride now serves on the faculty of the University of California at San Diego and heads the California Space Institute.
Her concern about the lack of women scientists and engineers inspired her to found Sally Ride Science, whose mission is “empowering girls to explore the world of science — from astrobiology to zoology and everything in between!” The Sally Ride Science home page describes that its mission is accomplished: “Through our innovative science programs and our award-winning science publications, Sally Ride Science informs and inspires year round.”
The innovative Sally Ride Science Festivals and other Sally Ride Science Programs (which include Toy Challenges and Science Camps) are not just empowering, informative, and inspiring; they are downright fun! As Karen Flammer, senior vice president of Sally Ride Science and a research physicist at the University of California, San Diego described:
Girls get to see hundreds of other girls spending a weekend day at a festival to do math and science and engineering activities, and it's in the context of a DJ playing music, it's in the context of food. All the workshops are very fun, hands-on workshops. Somebody's not standing up in front of the classroom lecturing to them. They're actually letting them take DNA out of the strawberry or calculate the density of chocolate, so they can see that science is fun, and they can share it with their friends.
Valerie Kuklenskito adds, "Girl Power. There is chemistry there - and math, physics and biology, too."