Sally Ride EarthKAM Takes Flight This Week

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November mission still accepting students after October mission breaks records.

For STEM education and STEM educators, science labs, and free tools for science teachers, the Sally Ride EarthKAM is a perfect fit.

An image of the Cygnus—the first commercial spacecraft to rendezvous with the ISS—taken by the Sally Ride EarthKAM during the October 2013 mission.

The Sally Ride EarthKAM is a perfect example of how igniting student interest in STEM in the classroom can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers in STEM... it's one of Sally’s greatest legacies for students and STEM educators everywhere.

Sally Ride EarthKAM is set to begin another mission November 12-15, allowing students from across the world to operate a camera aboard the International Space Station (ISS) that captures custom images of the Earth’s surface.

ISS EarthKAM was renamed by NASA last May to acknowledge Dr. Sally Ride’s role in establishing EarthKAM in 1995, and in working tirelessly as its champion throughout her life. Its most recent mission in October was the most successful ever for Sally Ride EarthKAM, with 615 schools and 44,269 students participating.

“After Sally Ride Science, EarthKAM is one of Sally’s greatest legacies for students and STEM educators everywhere,” says Dr. Karen Flammer, Director of EarthKAM, space physicist at University of California San Diego (where the EarthKAM labs are housed), and a co-founder of Sally Ride Science.

“EarthKAM is a perfect example of how igniting student interest in STEM in the classroom can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers in STEM,” Dr. Flammer added. “Many of the students who have interned at EarthKAM’s Mission Operation Center at UCSD ended up [at UCSD] because they participated in an EarthKAM mission while in middle school or high school. And many of UCSD’s EarthKAM interns have gone on to work at NASA. For those students, EarthKAM has played a central role in their own discovery of STEM careers.”

Since its inception, the Sally Ride EarthKAM program has produced a spectacular collection of close to 60,000 digital images of Earth. The image collection and accompanying learning guides and activities — all available for public access on the EarthKAM website ( — have supported class projects in Earth science, space science, geography, social studies, mathematics, communications, and even art.

During an EarthKAM mission, students at participating middle schools log in to the website and request images based on their classroom investigations. Their requests are processed at the Sally Ride EarthKAM Mission Operations Center, located at UCSD and modeled after NASA’s Mission Control Center at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. A staff consisting of UCSD undergraduate students and Sally Ride EarthKAM advisors supports and maintains the Mission Operations Center year round.

The next mission is scheduled to begin Tuesday, November 12 and run through Friday, November 15, with students able to join any time during the mission. For more information on the Sally Ride EarthKAM, or to sign up to be part of this mission or the next, visit the EarthKAM website at For more information on Sally Ride Science, visit

About Sally Ride Science
Sally Ride Science provides college and career readiness training and tools to build students' passion for STEM fields and careers. Dr. Sally Ride, America's first woman astronaut in space, founded the company to bring science to life for upper-elementary and middle school students, offering professional development via the Sally Ride Online Academy, which shows educators how to incorporate engaging career-focused approaches into their existing instruction. Visit for more information.

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Matt Casper
Sally Ride Science
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