Hundreds of educators packed Ballroom D of the Convention Center in Austin, Texas, for Sally Ride's keynote address to the TCEA's annual conference. The first American woman in space, and a Challenger crew member on two flights, Dr. Ride began by talking about her background and work in space science.

Raised by parents who were not scientifically minded, she said they nevertheless encouraged her interest in mathematics and science. She also credited teachers for having urged her to be the best that she could be. Similarly, she said, today's educators should "encourage both boys and girls to reach for...

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