Joseph Meyer of Oregon has created a new energy source and solution to a pair of pollution problems. Mashiad Mostafa and The Ngone Oo of Myanmar have discovered non-chemical ways to enhance a traditional homeopathic mosquito repellent … And they’re not even out of high school yet.
Meyer’s chicken waste recycler and the Myanmar team’s alternative uses for Thanaka wood were just two of 196 science and art projects originating in 34 countries and 31 states at the inaugural “Global Environmental Issues and US” or GENIUS Olympiad June 26 to 30, held on campus.
“We need your brains, we need your energy and we need your curiosity,” said Annie Griffiths, National Geographic photographer and keynote speaker at the opening June 27. “You are going to make the world a better place,” she told a capacity crowd of about 500 students, parents, mentors and campus leaders.
Each of the 200-plus competitors won regional, state and country-wide competitions to attend GENIUS, which interim Oswego Provost Lorrie Clemo described as an “educational and cultural exchange program.”
Many international guests dressed in traditional clothing for the opening exhibition and reception in Hewitt Union. Conversations in several different languages floated from the ballroom and even from the open windows of Hart Hall, where competitors stayed for the week.
Science is one part of the equation; the next step is communicating with the public, Olympiad creator and Assistant Professor of Chemistry Fehmi Damkaci said. Art, like the photos, posters and short films also submitted in the competition, is one outlet for raising public awareness for scientific solutions.