Blind Brook’s very own, Sam Savitt, was recently named a Regeneron Scholar. The Regeneron Science Talent Search (Regeneron STS) is best explained by school science research teacher Dr. Sugantino. She notes that, “The Regeneron Science Talent Search, a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the nation’s most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.” This explains the community’s great excitement when Savitt was awarded the title. He was chosen to be in the top 300 scholars out of a staggering 1,760 students! On top of that, these students were from 611 high schools in 10 countries. Explaining just how prestigious this honor is, Sugantino says, “Alumni of STS have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most distinguished science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science.”
It is no secret that Sam Savitt is passionate about his field. Savitt explains his fascination with airplanes, stating, “I’ve been obsessed with airplanes since I was ten. There was this flight simulator that I had on my computer, and the thought that I could be the one making flight happen was just the coolest thing. I spent countless hours on youtube and online, learning the ins and outs of flying, and further exploring the world of aviation, and I haven’t looked back since.” His interest in airplanes is what influenced him to study structural health monitoring and condition-based maintenance of bearings, using vibration data loggers for rotorcraft applications. His main intention was to make maintenance systems for airplanes and helicopters more efficient. Rather than checking and replacing a certain aircraft part based on time, Savitt worked on creating a sensing system that could monitor the condition of that part and alert aircraft operators when it would fail. He outlined his research by saying, “I tested sensors in both the lab (2 summers ago) and in an actual airplane (this past summer) to prove that the sensors and overall system was effective.” Ultimately, his project is the most cost effective and safe approach to maintenance, as it maximizes parts’ life without jeopardizing the safety of passengers.
Although Savitt’s research came by his own merits, he worked with his mentors, Mr. Attila Lengyel and Mr. Rob Parent, through the Blind Brook science research program. Savitt lays out his experience with Blind Brook’s program, claiming “My experience with Doc (Dr. Sugantino) and the science research program as a whole has been great. Doc truly cares about helping us pursue our passions in science and preparing us to pursue science in the real world, as researchers, communicators, and presenters. My classmates are all super talented as well, and getting to work with them has been humbling and they have pushed me to do my best work. The science research program is a tough one for sure, as it’s time consuming and requires serious dedication, but it’s opened up a world of possibilities I never thought could be possible in high school, and I’m so grateful to have had the experience.” It is evident that Sam Savitt is very passionate about aviation and science, and that his experience has helped prepare him for his future. The Blind Brook community will continue to cheer on Sam when he advances to the next level, where he is now eligible to be selected as one of the top 40 Finalists in the program!