GENIUS Olympiad again anticipates record participation June 17 to 22


May 22, 2019

Heading into its ninth finals competition in June on the campus of SUNY Oswego, GENIUS Olympiad again looks forward to increasing attendance from nations around the world and new features.

A potential 1,450 finalists and their mentors from up to 78 countries and 43 states are expected for the June 17 to 22 global high school environmental fair.

Founded and directed by SUNY Oswego chemistry chair Fehmi Damkaci, GENIUS (Global Environmental Issues U.S.) also has launched these new features for 2019: the peer-reviewed International Journal of High School Research, three-week English and culture and four-week SAT preparation and culture programs on campus following the Olympiad, GO Clubs to boost participation in high schools globally for preparation of environmentally focused GENIUS projects, and International Research Collaborations, which encourages long-running collaborative projects among high schools.

SUNY Oswego has hosted GENIUS -- sponsored by Syracuse's non-profit Terra Science and Education Inc., the college and six area companies -- each year since its 2011 debut. Besides competitions in science, visual and performing arts, creative writing, business and robotics, the Olympiad enables students from across the world to display pride in their colorful national costumes, flags and cultures.

Several free, public events will take place at SUNY Oswego's Marano Campus Center:

* The opening ceremony and viewing of finalists' projects run from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the arena.

* After a day of judging, the popular International Fair will brighten the arena from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 19.* The annual College Fair will provide information about SUNY Oswego and other U.S. colleges and universities from 9 to 11 a.m. Friday, June 21, along Marano Campus Center's concourse.

* The festive award ceremony will take place from 1:15 to 3 p.m. June 21 in the arena.

Growing competition

Titles of finalists' projects indicate an increasing sophistication as the trend toward hands-on high school research continues: "Aeropalynologic Features of Plants and Fungi Pollination in Kazan: The Monitoring Results and Their Influence on the Exacerbation of Hay Fever, " a science project by two students from Russia; "Utilizing Lift and Drag to Measure the Aerodynamic Efficiency of the Forward Swept Configuration," a New York state student's science entry; and "A Study on Humidification and Absorption of Particulate Matter (PM) and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) According to Alginate Gel Manufacturing Methods," by a competitor from South Korea.

Other titles, particularly in the arts and creative writing, are blunt: "More Drilling Means More Killing," an art project by a New Jersey finalist; "Corrupted World," a short film by two students from Thailand; and "Environment and Human Deeds," a creative writing entry from a student in Tajikistan.

GENIUS Olympiad continues to grow. Some additional numbers for the ninth: 1,657 projects submitted in 2018-19 regional competitions worldwide, with 789 accepted for the finals; competitors from U.S. high schools submitted 27 percent (403) of the projects; and Kyrgyzstan, with 117 projects, topped the list of projects submitted from participating nations.

Sponsors this year include Pathfinder Bank, SRC Inc., Exelon, Airgas, Brookfield and Redfin.

As many competitors travel vast distances to compete in Oswego, GENIUS organizes bonus travel to Niagara Falls, as well as, optionally and for additional cost, to Washington, D.C., and New York City; and a trip that combines those two cities with an Ivy League tour to Boston.

For more information, visit

A winning spirit -- Pride in achievement animates Amelia Lucia Jose Antonio Gunza, a supervisor, and her students from Angola after taking home numerous awards in the 2018 GENIUS Olympiad high school environmental competition at SUNY Oswego. The ninth annual GENIUS finals will run June 17 to 22 at the college's Marano Campus Center.