Philadelphia Astronomer Pitts Named 'Philadelphia Hero' - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Philadelphia Astronomer Pitts Named 'Philadelphia Hero'

Twelve students of the Boys & Girls Club's 2016 Young Writers Workshop also presented their newly published biography called "Derrick Pitts Astronomy Superstar."

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    Philadelphia Astronomer Pitts Named 'Philadelphia Hero'
    The Franklin Institute / Peter Olsen
    Derrick Pitts serves as the Chief Astronomer at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

    Mayor Jim Kenney is honoring a Philadelphia astronomer with an out-of-this-world recognition Friday evening.

    Franklin Institute chief astronomer Derrick Pitts has been declared as a "Philadelphia Hero" at the Franklin Institute for his contribution to educating and exposing children to the sciences.

    Twelve students of the Boys & Girls Club's 2016 Young Writers Workshop also presented their newly published biography called "Derrick Pitts Astronomy Superstar."

    "It's common for children to shy away from the sciences because they think [success] is unreachable," Pitts said. "The recognition is humbling, but I'm just a regular man who helps kids appreciate science and show them what their work and efforts can do -- in anything they do. This ceremony is about them."

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    Pitt has also devoted his time over the years demonstrating how science is a abstract and universal concept.

    "Science is for everyone and everything," he said. "Most issues in today's age requires science: nutrition, space exploration, medicine, manufacturing. And you can't pick and choose who's going to be a great scientist because everyone has the potential."

    Pitts said he was excited to receive his own biography written by the students.

    "Tonight is about them. I'll just be hanging around picking something up from the mayor -- a cookie, perhaps," he joked.

    Pitts, a member of the Franklin Institute since 1978, said he'd give the student writers a tour through the "Jurassic World" exhibit following the ceremony.