GENIUS Olympiad invites 550 finalists, advisers to SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego’s GENIUS Olympiad has invited 550 students and advisers representing 58 countries and 36 states to the third annual finals of the global high school environmental competition June 16 to 21 on campus.

Scene of international participants in previous GENIUS OlympiadGENIUS officials chose 311 projects as finalists among 765 entries, up from 248 of 663 projects selected in 2012. Olympiad founder Fehmi Damkaci, Oswego’s associate dean of graduate studies and a member of the chemistry faculty, aims for a record number of competitors and mentors to make the trip this year.

Finalists who journey to Oswego will display their projects and scholarly posters from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Monday, June 17, in the Campus Center arena. The competition’s opening ceremony will take place from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the arena. The colorful award ceremonies—many of the students dress in native costume and wave their nations’ flags—will begin at 1:15 p.m. Thursday, June 20, in the arena.

Two of the finalist projects will come from Oswego County high schools, thanks to the college Office of Business and Community Relations’ first local GENIUS competition, held April 17 at SUNY Oswego.

Sustainable city category

The science, art, creative writing and design competition has added a category this year for students interested in working with their respective cities on sustainable projects that are recently implemented or in the design phase.

“This is an international event, so that brings another component to see how other students in other countries think about” the environment, Damkaci said of the city competition.

Learning opportunities for students as they deal with city projects include academic, competitive and cultural elements.

“It forces them to think about a problem,” Damkaci said. “So we make them aware of these problems and their surroundings.”

Other GENIUS events that are free and open to the public include an academic symposium, which will take place from 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the Campus Center auditorium, and an International Fair displaying each represented country’s costumes and cultures, starting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, in the Campus Center Arena.

Parking arrangements will be announced. For more information, visit

Damkaci, working with the college and Terra Science and Education Foundation, launched the GENIUS Olympiad in 2011. In 2012, 293 students and 139 of their teachers, parents or other mentors traveled to Oswego from 49 countries and 30 states.

Besides SUNY Oswego and Terra, sponsors include SRC, National Grid and Pathfinder Bank.

PHOTO CAPTION:  Colorful event—As students from 49 countries showed last summer, SUNY Oswego’s third annual GENIUS Olympiad finals, coming to campus June 16 to 21, promise the college and community new multicultural opportunities to engage in dialogue with high school science, art, creative writing and design students from around the world. Officials have invited 550 people—finalists and their advisers—from 58 countries and 36 states to attend this year’s global environmental competition.

(Posted: Apr 26, 2013)

Tags: sustainability, science, genius olympiad, education pipeline