Press Releases

Sally Ride Science and ExxonMobil to Bring Science Festival for Middle School Girls to Rice University in Houston, Texas

First American woman in space’s legacy to “make science and engineering cool” to be commemorated

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Middle school science teachers should expect a surge of student enthusiasm this fall as the Sally Ride Science Festival jets into Houston on October 27, 2012.

Presented by ExxonMobil, the science festival founded by the first American woman in space will honor her legacy of helping “make science and engineering cool again.” The Sally Ride Science Festival for 5th- to 8th-grade girls will feature hands-on workshops, guest speakers, and a street fair complete with food, booths and music. Along with a day full of fun activities, the Sally Ride Science Festival is known for bringing in courageous, innovative and inspiring female scientists, engineers, and physicians who encourage girls to use their imaginations and pursue their dreams. A highlight of the festival will be the keynote address by astronaut Wendy Lawrence, a veteran of four space shuttle missions.

“ExxonMobil is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Sally Ride Science Festival,” said Sara Ortwein, president, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company. “We are equally pleased to continue Sally’s legacy of inspiring young girls to have fun with science and engineering while empowering them to reach their fullest potential.”

This is the seventh festival Sally Ride Science will host at the Rice University campus, 6100 Main Street, and the renowned science education company expects hundreds of girls, teachers and parents to attend.

“Rice University has been pleased to host the Festival annually since 2006, when Sally Ride herself was the keynote speaker. We have had amazing speakers including Eileen Collins, Peggy Whitson, Ellen Ochoa, Wendy Lawrence and Catherine Coleman. This year the Festival will be dedicated to Sally's memory and to the many millions she has inspired,” said Professor Patricia Reiff, Founding Director of the Rice Space Institute and Professor of Physics and Astronomy.

The festival is open to the public and will run from 11 a.m. until 4:15 p.m. A $20 advance registration fee includes the feature talk, workshops, lunch and the street fair. Advance registration is required. For more information, visit or call 1-800-561-5161.

In addition to ExxonMobil’s presenting sponsorship, the festival’s corporate sponsors are: Deloitte, Oceaneering, CenterPoint Energy, Baker Hughes, BASF, Enbridge, and Cameron. At Rice University the sponsors include the Dean of Natural Science, the NASA MMS mission, Professor Neal Lane, and NSBRI.

About ExxonMobil

ExxonMobil is the world's largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, providing energy that helps underpin growing economies and improve living standards around the world. ExxonMobil also engages in a range of philanthropic activities that advance education, health and science in the communities where ExxonMobil has significant operations. In the United States, ExxonMobil supports initiatives to improve math and science education at the K-12 and higher education levels. Globally, ExxonMobil provides funding to improve basic education, promote women as catalysts for economic development, and combat malaria and other infectious diseases in developing countries. In 2011, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), its divisions and affiliates, and ExxonMobil Foundation provided $278 million in contributions worldwide, of which $120 million was dedicated to education. Additional information on ExxonMobil’s community partnerships and contributions programs is available at

About Sally Ride Science

Sally Ride Science™ is an innovative science education company dedicated to supporting student interest in science, math and technology. Dr. Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space, founded the company with a mission to educate, engage and inspire all students. Since 2001, thousands of educators across the nation have utilized the standards-based classroom materials, professional development and cutting-edge classroom programs that bring science to life.

Sally Ride Science
Meredith Manning, Vice President of Marketing

Source: Sally Ride Science