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For much of his career, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has made it his mission to, as he puts it, "bring the universe down to earth."

As director of New York's Hayden Planetarium and one of the premiere science communicators of his time, Tyson has guided millions of people through the wonders of the universe, most recently as host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a reboot of Carl Sagan's 1980 PBS series.

Lisa Dunn and Janice Hunter are teachers at Fort Wayne's Lakeside Middle School who both have a passion for teaching students about STEM concepts and careers. STEM is shorthand for "science, technology, engineering and math."

It's a passion that led them to Purdue University in West Lafayette over the summer, where they were selected to participate in a program called TechFit.  

Most teachers use their summer vacation to take some time away from students.  However, this wasn't the case for Towles New Tech Middle School teacher Carissa Richardson.  She spent her summer traveling all over Europe with 40 students.   

Richardson spent time in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom in the People to People Ambassador Program.  The program was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower, with the notion that peace comes through traveling abroad and understanding other cultures.

Tony Lemmon teaches science and math at Shawnee Middle School and driver's education on the side.  He put last winter's snow days to good use by writing a book about his driver's ed experiences and spent the summer getting the word out about his book.  

Nine months out of the year, Bob Ahlersmeyer is an English teacher at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne.  But he’s a showman at heart, and once class is dismissed, you can often find him in community theater productions and even local commercials.

This summer though, he decided to try his hand at stardom. For six weeks, anyway.

Ahlersmeyer received a Lilly Grant to travel to Hollywood to blog about his experiences auditioning for movies and commercials. He plans on using his blog to educate students on online journalism and blog-writing.  

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