PVHS stu­dents work with TV star on White House sign



— Al­though Adam Sav­age may have achieved near-mythic sta­tus in the sci­ence and tech com­mu­nity, in per­son, he’s just a guy who likes to build stuff.

That’s what Per­ryville High School sopho­mores Adam Hazel and Cooper Wil­cox found out when they re­cently got a chance to work with the Dis­cover Chan­nel’s “Myth­busters” star to build an in­ter­ac­tive LED-lit sign for a White House event.

“He didn’t have some grand en­trance like ‘Oh, Adam Sav­age is en­ter­ing the build­ing.’ It was just like ‘I’m here, let’s get to work,’” Hazel said. “I was like, ‘Huh, that was re­ally anti-cli­mac­tic.’”

Hazel and Wil­cox, along with Per­ryville Mid­dle School teacher Scott Del­losso and Per­ryville High alum­nus Andy O’Neill, were just a few of the stu­dents and ed­u­ca­tors who came to­gether on Sun­day to help Sav­age build a sign for the White House’s South by South Lawn fes­ti­val. The fes­ti­val, which was in­spired by the an­nual con­fer­ence held in Austin, Texas, and cel­e­brates Amer­i­can in­no­va­tion, took place Mon­day.

The project con­sisted of cre­at­ing 7-foot-tall S-X-S-L let­ters with LED lights that can light up dif­fer­ent col­ors. And thanks to some cod­ing, peo­ple were able to change the col­ors of the sign by tweet­ing the #SXSL hash­tag and a color, Del­losso said.

Sun­day’s build took place at the Dig­i­tal Har­bor Foun­da­tion, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that works to fos­ter learn­ing, cre­ativ­ity, pro­duc­tiv­ity and com­mu­nity through ed­u­ca­tion and is based in Bal­ti­more. Del­losso, who runs both the Per­ryville Mid­dle and High Des­ti­na­tion Imag­i­na­tion teams, has worked with DHF sev­eral times over the last four years on tech­nol­ogy


Sev­eral Ce­cil Coun­tians worked with “Myth­busters” star Adam Sav­age on this sign, which was dis­played out­side the White House as part of the South by South Lawn fes­ti­val. for the DI teams as well as on set­ting up a mak­erspace for the mid­dle school.

That re­la­tion­ship with DHF led to an in­vi­ta­tion to par­tic­i­pate in Sun­day’s build and as soon as Del­losso got the in­vite, he knew im­me­di­ately who he wanted to bring, he said. Both Hazel and Wil­cox are big fans of both “Myth­busters” and Tested.com, a sci­ence and tech web­site Sav­age con­trib­utes to, Del­losso said, in ad­di­tion to be­ing his “tech­ni­cal guys” for DI chal­lenges.

The group spent four or five hours work­ing on the build, mostly help­ing di­rect younger stu­dents at the “paint it black” ta­ble, which con­sisted of paint­ing all the braces at the back of the sign black. Hazel and Wil­cox also en­joyed the op­por­tu­nity to catch up with O’Neill, who both know from DI and who now works at DHF.

But the high­light was, of course, meet­ing Sav­age, though their in­ter­ac­tion with the TV star was lim­ited to tak­ing a photo, shak­ing his hand and watch­ing him work.

“What I liked about Adam Sav­age is he’s not one of those peo­ple on TV or YouTube who talks about and acts like he builds things, he ac­tu­ally does it him­self,” Wil­cox said.

While the two haven’t yet de­cided ex­actly what they want in a fu­ture ca­reer, both know it will be some­thing in the STEM (sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics) fields. But even as sopho­mores, the two are al­ready off to a pretty good start.

“We can say, ‘Oh yeah, we worked with Adam Sav­age on build­ing stuff for the White House,’” Hazel said. “So we can put that on our re­sume.”


Per­ryville High School alum­nus Andy O’Neill, PVHS sopho­mores Adam Hazel and Cooper Wil­cox and Per­ryville Mid­dle School teacher Scott Del­losso pose with “Myth­busters” star Adam Sav­age, cen­ter.


“Myth­busters” star Adam Sav­age led a team of peo­ple, in­clud­ing sev­eral from Ce­cil County, to build an in­ter­ac­tive sign to be dis­played out­side the White House.


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