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Rita Karl


  • SciGirls Code
    • Roles: Co-PI
    • Access: Project Admin, Project Contact


  • Researcher 


An accomplished leader of high-profile science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives in the U.S. and overseas, Rita Karl served as the Director of Education at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education managing the design, implementation and assessment of formal and informal STEM education and outreach programs for an international network of learning centers in four countries located in schools, universities and museums. Prior to her work at Challenger Center, Ms. Karl was Director of the USAID project, Educational Technology in Schools, training over 2,500 educators and school administrators in inquiry-based teaching and learning using technology, impacting over 25,000 students across Egypt. The program won the Best Project in USAID award in 2004. At the NASA Johnson Space Center, Ms. Karl designed and led the NASA-award winning Aerospace Scholars program, now in its twelfth year, encouraging gifted students, young women and minorities to consider careers in professional STEM fields by mentoring them with working engineers. Previous positions include Education Manager at Universities Space Research Association, Project Manager for Education at the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Director of the NASA Discovery Museum at Moody Gardens in Texas. A former elementary educator, Ms. Karl holds a Masters of Science Degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Directing.