Unraveling the Secrets of Flight: Sam Olix Wins Alfred State College Science Fair with Aerodynamics of Beetles

Hornell Senior High School junior, Sam Olix, emerged triumphant at the Alfred State College Science Fair, clinching the Senior Division title with his groundbreaking project, “The Aerodynamics of Beetles.” Through a fusion of biology and physics, Sam delved into the intricacies of beetle flight, shedding light on their remarkable aerial maneuvers.

Sam’s project captivated judges and attendees alike as he showcased live carpet beetles, unveiling the mechanics behind their flight. Demonstrating the “clap-fling” method displayed by beetles from the Dermestidae family and other flying insects, Sam explained how these creatures generate a leading-edge vortex along their flight wings, enabling them to take to the skies with remarkable agility and efficiency.

The Alfred State Regional Science and Technology Fair, which attracts participants from grades 4 through 12 across Western NY and Northwestern PA, provided the perfect platform for Sam to showcase his scientific knowledge. His project not only showcased his mastery of scientific concepts but also his ability to translate complex theories into understandable demonstrations.

Reflecting on his journey into the realm of science, Sam shared, “I got interested in science when I was really young. I particularly found myself completely enamored with how animals, specifically insects, were physically able to do things I couldn’t, like fly or climb up walls. One trip to the public library and I was hooked on the physics of life.”

Sam’s dedication to his project was evident in the meticulous research that spanned three weeks. His passion for unraveling the mysteries of the natural world served as the driving force behind his scientific exploration.

Looking ahead, Sam aspires to pursue an undergraduate degree in Physics at SUNY Oswego, with his sights set on obtaining a Ph.D. in Biophysics at the University of Rochester. His ambitious academic trajectory shows his commitment to advancing scientific understanding and pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Sam’s triumph at the Alfred State College Science Fair not only displays his individual excellence but also serves as an inspiration to aspiring young scientists. His hard-work serves as a testament to the power of curiosity, perseverance, and dedication in the pursuit of scientific discovery. As Sam continues to soar to new heights, his contributions to the field of science are bound to leave an important mark on the scientific community at Hornell Senior High School.