Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Student Assistant Commutes from Lowell


Russ Brayfield is a 15-year old freshman at Lowell High School and a 2nd year assistant at Merrillville Community Planetarium. Russ moved from Merrillville to Lowell in May, but continues to work in the planetarium. “I love working here!” he says. He attends group and public shows, and comes after school to do various behind-the-scenes jobs. Russ used to live two blocks away, now his mother drives him the long distance from Lowell as often as possible. Next year he’s getting a car so he can come to the planetarium everyday. His parents encourage and support his involvement in the planetarium and promise to help with his gas expenses next year.

Russ learned the many different jobs in the planetarium very quickly. He’s reliable and can always be counted on to help get the job done. Planetarium Director Gregg Williams says “Russ is a fine young man” and is very impressed by his enthusiasm and family support.

Russ has always loved space. He watched space-related programs on the Discovery channel while growing up. He enjoys giving shows, teaching people about space, and putting new programs together. He plans to be a planetarium assistant until he goes away to college. He plans to attend Purdue University and wants to be an aerospace engineer.