Colorful awards ceremony closes global GENIUS Olympiad

SUNY Oswego faculty member Fehmi Damkaci declared all 223 young scientists and artists from 34 countries and 31 states the winners at the closing awards ceremony June 30 of the first GENIUS Olympiad.

“I am happy to have welcomed so many participants from so many countries and states in our first year,” said Damkaci, assistant professor of chemistry and lead organizer of the 2011 Global Environmental Issues and Us international high school science and art competition. “It is really joyful to hear from every participant that they enjoyed it very much and found it very professional and academic. They all thanked SUNY Oswego for hosting such an event.”

The first GENIUS Olympiad.The colorful closing ceremonies—with many of the participants in native dress and draped in or waving the flags of their countries—featured the announcement of 18 gold-medal projects in science and six in art. Each winner—many projects had two authors—took home an Acer netbook and a certificate, along with his or her medal.

Twenty-four science and five art projects earned silver medals, and their authors won Kindle e-book readers, while thirty-four science and three art projects received bronze medals, and their authors took home iPods. All awards and other expenses were courtesy of sponsors such as Terra Science and Education Foundation, Syracuse Center of Excellence, SRC, Airgas, Barton & Loguidice, TECHNOtime and Web designer Pccolog Sakbas, as well as the host college.

Some examples of gold-medalists’ projects included “The Effects of Micro-algae Characteristics on the Bioremediation Rate of Deepwater Horizon Crude Oil” (Xiuqui Cao and Ying Xiong of Minnesota), “The Use of Ground Blast Furnace Slag, Chrome Slag and Corn Stem Ash as a Coating Against Corrosion” (Felix Ubisse Jr. and Ayilton Pedro Palate of Mozambique) and “The Influence of Oil Pollution on Soil Micro-biocoenosis and the Biological Remediation of Soil” (Leila Ramankulova of Kazakhstan).

For a list of all award-winning projects, students and their countries or states, visit

Distant lands

Students arrived at SUNY Oswego June 25 and 26 from Kazakhstan and Kosovo, Mongolia and Myanmar, Tajikistan and Tanzania, and dozens more nations around the globe as well as from states across the nation.

The centerpiece of the June 27-30 competition was the exhibition and judging in Hewitt Union ballroom of science and art projects in ecology and biodiversity, resources and energy, environmental quality, human ecology and in a special category, removing oil from water. 

All the science entries—more than 620 began the competition, with 170 entries named finalists—featured scholarly posters summarizing their authors’ research; some entrants exhibited models or working demonstrations. Student artists submitted cartoons, short films and animations, graphic posters or installation art. Primary judges for oral presentations of the finalists’ exhibits were SUNY Oswego faculty members Kestas Bendinskas, associate professor of chemistry, and Venera Jouraeva, visiting assistant professor of chemistry.

The visitors, including 103 mentors and family members, enjoyed a visit to Niagara Falls, a high school basketball tournament and other shared good times before departing June 30 for a tour of Washington, D.C.

PHOTO CAPTION: Enthusiastic scientist— Dorobsho Sharipov, a student at Haji Kemal Tajik-Turkish High School in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, explains the project he did with Davlatjon Nematov titled “An Alternating Energy System from Geothermal Sources by Using a CPU Cooler.” Theirs was one of 140 finalist projects exhibited from 223 high school students in 34 countries and 31 states shown June 27-30 at SUNY Oswego during the first GENIUS (Global Environmental Issues and Us) Olympiad.

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(Posted: Jul 05, 2011)

Tags: world awareness, science, jouraeva, genius olympiad, environment, damkaci, chemistry, bendinskas