Bill Nye is proving once again why he's everyone's favorite bow-tie wearing scientist.
Michael de Groot is a 15-year-old with autism, who loves science and has a big goal.
"My dream is to work with Bill Nye one day in Pasadena, California, when I’m older," the 15-year-old told WRIC.
However, the young science enthusiast didn't have to wait that long to meet his idol. With the help of his sister, Kelly, Michael met the famous scientist in Washington, D.C., this past December, according to SeriouslyNotBoring.com, a website dedicated to raising autism awareness, where the story first appeared. Nye spent some time with the teen prior to giving a presentation on space exploration to a group. The celebrity scientist listened to Michael explain his ideas for a future Nye lab, and gave the teen a few surprises.
"It was so cool! He signed my lab coat and gave me the Planetary Society badge," Michael told WRIC, recalling his interaction with Nye.
Kelly had reached out to a classmate, who was interning at the United States House Committee on Science, Space and Technology at the time, about arranging a meeting between the scientist and her brother. Months later, they received an invitation to Nye's presentation and were ecstatic, but had no idea that Michael would get personal time with the scientist, Lisa, Michael's mom, told SeriouslyNotBoring.com.
"We were so surprised that such a thing was happening and that we were going to see him, but we didn’t assume that it would be a one-on-one with him," she said.
Nye's kind gesture has moved the teen and his family.
"To take the time the way he did, to really make a difference for a kid, and for the family, was pretty amazing," Michael's father, Peter, told WRIC.