Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, is presenting the Sally Ride Science Festival, held in association with the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif., on Saturday, March 24, on the Caltech campus. The popular science festival targets middle-school girls, grades five through eight. Parents, educators and all others are encouraged to attend.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena, is a sponsor of the event. Several female JPL researchers, engineers and scientists will participate in the festival and talk with the girls about their careers. The JPL participants will show images of earthquakes and volcanoes from space, demonstrate how robots work, and discuss NASA’s search for habitable planets beyond our solar system, incorporating a “build your own alien” hands-on activity.

This year’s event will feature a talk by Ride and Dr. Maria Zuber, a geophysicist and the first woman to head the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

Discovery workshops will include information on computer and planetary science. A   street fair will include booths and exhibits, demonstrations, food, music, and drawings for prizes. An adult program for parents and teachers will focus on topics such as reinforcing hands-on science instruction, science resources for girls, and gender equity.

Northrop Grumman Foundation is a national sponsor for Sally Ride Science Festivals, along with lead sponsor International Rectifier, Lockheed Martin, JPL, and Caltech.

This marks the sixth year for the Sally Ride Science Festivals. More than 50 festivals have been held in cities throughout the country. Each festival has attracted hundreds of girls and parents for a day of science, socializing, and fun.

The festivals are organized by Sally Ride Science, a company founded by astronaut Sally Ride to support the large numbers of girls who are, or might become, interested in science, math and technology.  The company creates innovative science experiences for girls that empower them, engage them and encourage their interests. 

The day begins at 11 a.m. with check-in and the street fair, and ends at 4:15 p.m. The cost is $18 in advance and includes lunch and all festival activities and materials.  Advance registration is required.

Teachers, parents, and students can register and learn more about the festival by visiting or by calling (800) 561-5161. 

To learn more about Sally Ride Science, visit