First Female Astronaut to Speak During Sally Ride Science Festival

Posted: April 14, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut, will be the keynote speaker at the Sally Ride Science Festival, hosted by George Mason at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, April 17. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and will coincide with a street fair on the Johnson Center North Plaza that ends at 4:15 p.m.

George Mason hosted the event for the first time in 2002.

The festival brings together hundreds of middle school girls to socialize and participate in science workshops given by local veterinarians, astronomers, microbiologists, and engineers. Five workshops on ways to support girls’ interests in science and math are also available for parents and teachers. Many George Mason professors and administrators will be speaking to the girls at various workshops.

“Increasing the diversity in science–particularly gender diversity–is an extremely important issue today,” says Sheryl Beach, professor in the School of Computational Sciences and one of the organizers of the event. “Ideally, we’d like to reach kids between the fifth and eighth grade when they are still exploring what they want to be when they grow up.”

The last day to preregister for the festival is tomorrow, and on-site registration begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Advance registration is $18; on-site registration is $25. For more information or to register online, visit the Sally Ride Festival web site.

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