Addison has attended PCDS since fifth grade, where he quickly became a star among his peers. He is described by his family, teachers and friends as the “ultimate renaissance man,” being well skilled in fencing, cello and bass guitar. He enjoys skateboarding, coding and playing in his band. Addison currently interns at Barrow Neurological Institute and is a children’s coach in his fencing club, and has played cello with the Phoenix Youth Symphony.
Q. How many instruments do you play? Do you have a favorite piece of music that you played during your time with Phoenix Youth Symphony?
A. I play the electric bass and the cello. My favorite piece of music for cello is Bach’s Solo Cello Suites. The Cello Suites are the reason I started playing the cello.
Q. What do you enjoy most about coaching in your fencing club?
A. Definitely seeing the people I teach succeed. Recently, one of the kids I help to teach went to Nationals and got third in his division. His excitement was super rewarding.
Q. Tell me about your current internship at Barrow Neurological Institute. How did that opportunity come about?
A. My internship is with a lab at the Arizona Biomedical Complex, but the work I do is not directly on the research they conduct. Currently, I’m working on creating an automated medication dispenser for the rats. Currently the rats have to be injected every 4-6 hours, which creates extra labor costs and stresses the mice out. This opportunity arose when one of my parent’s clients, mentioned me to the lab manager. He was particularly interested in my experience with designing and 3D printing.
Q. Where does one develop an interest in prototyping and designing electronic circuitry as a teen?
A. I first began messing with circuits in second grade when I got SnapCircuits as a gift. The kit came with electronic parts encased in plastic, so that they could be easily moved around and attached. I mainly have been learning through trial and lots of error, and some help from the internet when necessary. Prototyping the electronics in the pellet dispenser has been rewarding and frustrating.
Q. Who has inspired you most through your academic career?
A. I have to say that I’ve never really had one person consistently inspire me. Through my academic career, I’ve been interested in enough different things that I don’t think one person could be an inspiration. I’ve been inspired by people, but none sticks out in my mind.
Addison Wessel is a senior at Phoenix Country Day School.