Tam on STEAM
with Tam O’Shaughnessy
Cofounder, Sally Ride Science
Executive Director, Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego
In Tam on STEAM, Sally Ride Science cofounder Tam O’Shaughnessy shares inspiring stories of women in science, technology, engineering, art design, and math (STEAM). Tam on STEAM gives you a personal perspective on key developments in fields from astronomy to zoology.

Learn more about Sally Ride Science

How a girl from Tijuana became a champion of cross-border scientific ties
Olivia Graeve remembers exactly when she decided she wanted to be an engineer. During the 1980s, an economic crisis drove thousands of people to flee Mexico’s depressed southern region and seek jobs in the north. Slums sprang up in the hills around Tijuana, the border city where Graeve (GRAH-vay) lived. With a group from her […]
Why Sally Ride Science?
In 2001, I joined with pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, along with Karen Flammer and two other friends, to co-found a science education company. We called it Sally Ride Science. Our mission? To encourage young people—especially girls—to stick with science as they go through school.Why is this so important?Science and technology play a larger role in […]
Researchers team up to share key insights on telomeres and health
Elizabeth Blackburn (left) and Elissa EpelThere’s no shortage of advice out there about what makes a healthy lifestyle. Get regular exercise. Reduce stress. Eat whole foods. It all sounds good, but the advice is easy to ignore when you are tired or anxious or craving a donut. But what if you could envision exactly what your healthy habits—or unhealthy ones—are […]
How a girl who came late to science became an expert on bumblebees
Hollis Woodard, a UC Riverside entomologist, studies bumblebees in extreme environments.Hollis Woodard sees bumblebees as the pandas of the insect world.“They are a very charismatic bee,” she said. “They are big and chunky and fuzzy. They move kind of slow, so you can watch them bumbling around. People are pretty attracted to them.”But what fascinates Woodard about bumblebees goes beyond their endearing fuzziness. As an […]
How a daughter of immigrants became a leader in ocean and climate science
Young Ana Christina Ravelo seemed like a natural to become a scientist.Growing up in the Los Angeles suburb of Altadena, she excelled in math and science classes. She loved nature and outdoor activities. And beyond that, she had a striving, adventurous spirit inspired by her parents.“Both of my parents are immigrants,” Ravelo noted. “That’s a […]
How a girl from Down Under became an innovator in analyzing math models
Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego PublicationsRuth Williams really likes to solve problems. In fact, one of her favorite sayings is, “I eat problems for breakfast.”Part of the appeal of math problems, she explained, is that there are two sides to solving them. Growing up in Australia, she was especially drawn to the clarity and […]
How a girl who loved learning became a top soil scientist
When Asmeret Asefaw Berhe was growing up in Eritrea, a nation in Northern Africa, her dad had a pet name for her.In a large family that placed a high value on education, Berhe was the one who always had her nose in a book. Her parents expected her to go far. Her dad even took […]
How a girl who loved puzzles grew up to solve a galactic mystery
Andrea Ghez still remembers reading the article posted on a wall at her high school. A scientific study had concluded that boys were smarter than girls at math.Ghez didn’t buy it. She loved math. So she challenged the boys in her math class to a contest to see who could do better on tests. Who […]
How a girl who cared about our planet became a leader in clean energy research
For a quiet girl growing up in the peaceful Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth, reading opened up an amazing world.Jenny Yang made a trek to the library each week to check out a stack of books. Fiction was her favorite, but she also liked reading about science. “I just liked learning about the world,” she […]
How a girl who loved the sea found a career keeping an eye on our oceans
Growing up in Tacoma, Washington, Tessa Hill spent hours in and on the waters of Puget Sound. She loved boating, walking on the beach, and digging in the sand. “I was interested in all the things that were living in the sand and living on the rocks and living in the water,” she recalled. “I […]
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