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GENIUS Olympiad Brings World’s Brightest To Oswego

By Nick Wojton, Contributing Writer
OSWEGO, NY – The GENIUS Olympiad entered its third year of competition this week on the SUNY Oswego campus.

The event is an international competition for high school students who’ve completed projects to solve real-world environmental issues.

The competition is divided into five categories including science, art, creative writing, design and city.

This year’s Olympiad is the largest in the event’s short history with more than 550 participants from across the United States and the world.

The “city” category is also a new addition to this year’s competition, which an individual city can submit its project that it has planned or has already implemented.

Director of the GENIUS Olympiad, Dr. Fehmi Damkaci from the SUNY Oswego Department of Chemistry, helped organize the event three years ago and said that SUNY Oswego is an ideal location to host the event.

“There’s a commitment to sustainability here,” Damkaci said.

SUNY Oswego has been very forward with its attempt to be a “green campus,” she explained.

The school provides students with “green initiatives” on simple ways they can help make SUNY Oswego a green campus.

The school itself sets up sustainability events such as the Leave Green Oswego Program, which encouraged students to donate items after leaving Oswego for home instead of simply throwing them out and on April 17, a Sustainability Fair took place in the Campus Center Arena.

According to Damkaci, the competitors and their families also enjoy the area and venue.

“Visitors commented that the weather is nice, not too hot, not too cold, and that the lake and campus are beautiful,” Damkaci said.

Along with the local venue, competitors will attend a trip to Niagara Falls and the Destiny USA mall on Thursday.

In the future, GENIUS Olympiad organizers plan to increase local participation in the event by organizing an Oswego County GENIUS science fair.

The winner of the local event will be automatically accepted into the International GENIUS Olympiad.

The awards ceremony for this year’s event is open to the public and is scheduled for Friday at 1:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Arena.