News Service


Kim Tholen, Society for Women Engineers, (515) 294-0678
Pat Miller, Committee on Lectures, (515) 294-9935
Arianna McKinney, News Service, (515) 294-6881


AMES, Iowa -- Sally Ride, the first American woman astronaut, will be speaking about "The Future of the U.S. Space Program" Saturday, Oct. 24, at 8 p.m. at C.Y. Stephens Auditorium. The day's events will also include hands-on engineering activities for youth, teachers and parents.

"Sally Ride is a personal hero of mine and a pioneer for women," said Kim Tholen, chair of the ISU's Society for Women Engineers (SWE), the group responsible for bringing Ride to campus. "I've wanted to be an astronaut for many, many years."

The Committee on Lectures is co-sponsoring the lecture.

Ride became the first American woman in space on June 18, 1983, when she flew on the space shuttle Challenger's six-day mission. The mission performed the first satellite deployment and retrieval with the shuttle's robot arm and conducted materials and pharmaceutical research.

She flew on Challenger again in 1984 on an eight-day mission, which demonstrated the potential for satellite refueling by astronauts.

Training for a third flight was interrupted when Challenger exploded in 1986. For six months, Ride served as a member of the Presidential Commission investigating the accident. Upon completing the investigation, she was appointed assistant to the NASA Administrator for long-range planning.

Ride holds bachelors degrees in English and physics, and masters and doctorate degrees in physics, all from Stanford University. She is currently a physicist on the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, and a member of the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Ride is the author of "Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System" and "The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth From Space," as well as a children's book, "To Space and Back." She has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service and two National Spaceflight Medals.

Ride will sign books at the Celebrity Cafe in C.Y. Stephens after the presentation, where the ISU bookstore will be selling her books. Groups of ten or more can request reserved seating for Ride's lecture by contacting Tholen at or (515) 294-0678.

Preceding the lecture, SWE will host a hands-on program, "Shoot for the Stars!", for 7th -- 12th graders from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Students will participate in space-related activities, and there will be tours of engineering buildings and lab demonstrations.

There will also be a "Shoot for the Stars!" workshop for teachers and parents about preparing students for engineering and college. Speakers will include representatives from Procter & Gamble, John Deere, the ISU College of Engineering.

There is a materials fee of $2 per student. Anyone wishing to participate in "Shoot for the Stars!" should contact Cari Olson at or (515) 294-0678.


Iowa State homepage

University Relations,
Copyright © 1997, Iowa State University, all rights reserved
Revised 10/9/98