GENIUS judges choose student winners from Central Square, Fulton

SUNY Oswego’s first local environmental competition will send one young scientist from Paul V. Moore High School in Central Square and two from Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley High School to the GENIUS Olympiad finals in June at the college.

A team of judges chose “The Onondaga Lake Watershed” by Parker Wells of Central Square for the gold medal. The selection brought Wells’ high school $2,000 to be used toward an environmental educational project of its choice.

The Director’s Choice award went to “How Economic Status Influences Environmental Views,” a project submitted by Tiffany Trovato and Eva Jones from Fulton. Along with Wells, they will be invited to participate in SUNY Oswego’s GENIUS (Global Environmental Issues—U.S.) finals June 16 to 20, featuring high school science, art, writing and design competitors from around the world.

The local GENIUS competition, an effort to promote interest in science, technology, engineering, math and environmental stewardship in Oswego County school districts, is an initiative of SUNY Oswego’s Office of Business and Community Relations, as well as its Civic Engagement unit.

Projects in the competition’s first year ranged from “The Footprint of a High School Play” to “How Wind Can Be Used as an Alternate Source of Energy.”

Other winners in the event, held April 17 at the SUNY Oswego Campus Center arena, were silver medalist Lacey Rusaw of Fulton for “The Footprint of a Domestic Cat” and bronze medalists Hannah Geitner and Julia Speir of Fulton for “The Feasibility of Using Green Exercise Equipment.”

Tammy Elowski, assistant director of OBCR and coordinator of the event, expressed gratitude to judges Len Sharp, a retired earth science teacher at Liverpool High School; Art Thompson, electrical engineer at FBNL Engineering; and SUNY Oswego representatives Lily Soltani-Amadi of mathematics, Kirsten Parsons of biological sciences and Jacob DeMarree, a graduate student in chemistry.

“Special thanks go to Fehmi Damkaci, director of the international GENIUS Olympiad, for his guidance and support, and Jon Zella, our civic engagement graduate assistant,” Elowsky said.  “Most of all, it was the support of the high school educators and their encouragement of their students that made this inaugural event such a success.”

For more information on the Oswego County GENIUS Olympiad, visit www.oswego.edu/oc_genius. The global competition’s website is www.geniusolympiad.org.

(Posted: May 17, 2013)

Tags: stem, genius olympiad, education pipeline