Lake E-ffect Newsletter banner SUNY Oswego logoMarch 2012 • Vol 7 • No 12

GENIUS Olympiad Environmental Competition Invites Worldwide Entries

The GENIUS Olympiad, SUNY Oswego’s global environmental competition for high school-age scientists and artists near and far, has opened applications for a 2012 edition that also invites young writers and architects to submit projects.

Finalists will gather June 24 to 29 at SUNY Oswego for the second annual GENIUS Olympiad, which last year drew 342 students, parents and other mentors.

“Our aim is to provide a platform for creative high school students with different talents to work on environmental issues, and give them a gathering place to share their work and create a better future,” said Dr. Fehmi Damkaci, founder and director of the competition and an assistant professor of chemistry at SUNY Oswego.

In its inaugural year, the GENIUS Olympiad drew applications from 1,066 students of 46 nations who authored 558 science and 89 art projects. Of those, a total of 195 projects were named finalists, and students and mentors representing 142 of them made the trip to Oswego from 33 countries and 30 states.

This year, Damkaci said, several categories each in creative writing and architectural design have been added to expand the competition’s talent pool and the ways students can raise awareness of environmental sustainability issues and provide potential solutions.

With an application deadline of March 26, entries in science can address environmental quality, ecology and biodiversity, resources and energy, or human ecology. In art, entries can take the form of photography, satirical illustration, poster design or short film. The new creative writing categories include poetry, short story and non-fiction essay. Finally, the new sustainable-design competition invites entries in architectural design, urban planning and interior design.

GENIUS — which stands for Global Environmental Issues U.S. — also has added a two-day college fair to provide students with information about SUNY Oswego and other Central New York colleges and universities and such topics as financial aid.

Damkaci said the GENIUS Olympiad, whose lead sponsors are Terra Science and Education Foundation and SUNY Oswego, continues to seek sponsorships. Other sponsors committed to the 2012 competition include SRC Inc., Barton & Loguidice, Airgas and Hong Kong Innovative Technology and Education Association.

Jeff Rea '71

PHOTO CAPTION: Harisa Polutan of Bosnia-Herzegovina, left, talks with students from Indonesia during the first annual GENIUS Olympiad environmental science and art competition for high school age students at SUNY Oswego’s Hewitt Union ballroom. Entries have begun coming in for the 2012 GENIUS Olympiad, with a March 26 deadline.

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