Bill Nye Gives Young Science Fan With Autism The 'Best Day Ever'
February 28, 2015
Michael de Groot is a middle school student with autism who dreams of being a scientist. He talks constantly about his idol, Bill Nye. He never thought that he would actually meet Bill in person.
According to Seriously Not Boring, Michael's sister Kelly, a student at Villanova University, noticed a classmate had posted a picture of herself posing with Bill Nye. She found out the student had an internship on the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and that was how she met the scientist. Kelly casually commented how much her brother loved Bill Nye, and they struck up a conversation. The kind student offered to contact someone related to the committee to see if they could possibly set up a meeting between Michael and Bill.
Months went by with no word. The week of Thanksgiving, 2014, Kelly was home on break and unexpectedly received a text from her classmate. She was told that that Bill, as the CFO of the Planetary Association, was going to be in Washington, DC soon to give a presentation.
"We were so surprised that such a thing was happening and that we were going to see him," said Lisa, Michael's mother, "but we didn't assume that it would be a one on one with him."
After their initial meeting, the two spent the next twenty minutes talking and taking pictures. Strange situations and meeting new people can be challenging for people with autism, but Michael's mom said, "We were so proud of Michael who was polite, patient, and acted like a mature young man!"
Michael showed Bill some drawings that he had created to give the scientist, including his elaborate concept for a new "Nye Science Lab."
Bill noticed Michael was wearing a lab coat and offered to sign it. He also gave Michael a Planetary Society pin and it was proudly pinned to the autographed lab coat.
When it was all over, Michael proclaimed, "This was the best day EVER!"
Credit: Seriously Not Boring.
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