First Hand Reports on the 2015 GENIUS Olympiad
The following are student reports on their week at the 2015 GENIUS Olympiad. Special thanks to all for sharing their experiences. See the media release
Competing at GENIUS Olympiad
There are two ways to get an opportunity to compete. You can win one of the four awards given at our fair or you can apply directly. Direct applications include submitting a research report and paying an application fee ($30 in 2015). In 2015 applications were accepted starting Feb. 2 and closed March 16. This timing works well with deadlines for our fair.
Visit the GENIUS Olympiad website for all the details.
I arrived at Genius Olympiad on Sunday afternoon, after a lonesome 10 hour northward journey by bus and train, not sure what to expect. I was greeted by a pleasant meshing of culture with students all around the world eagerly talking to each other about their projects, what life is like in their country and their diverse interests outside of science. From as near as Westchester County to as far as Tajikistan, students came to present their science and design projects with the genuine common goal of solving worldwide environmental problems. Finally, after a long day, I was able to meet my roommate, Ahmad from Malaysia.
Monday was project set up day; I couldn’t wait to see to see the hundreds of exciting well-made projects everyone came to present. After project set up was an interesting selection of team building activities that allowed us to meet with people we otherwise wouldn’t have. Games like Telephone and Freeze-Tag are made more fun when you are sharing them with people from over 60 countries worldwide! That evening, we enjoyed a quiet night around around campus and directly on the shores of beautiful Lake Ontario as we kept on meeting new people and preparing for our presentations tomorrow.
Tuesday came very quickly as judging came full speed ahead. All of the science project students descended onto the indoor arena at the Marano Campus Center to present their projects. The three hour judging period flew by as we met scientists, engineers and professors from the SUNY Oswego area to discuss our projects. Finally, with all the stress over with, we met with our newly found friends over lunch.
Unfortunately, this is when I had to leave on account of my high school graduation on Wednesday. After some heartfelt goodbyes, phone numbers and facebook profiles exchanged, I left on the long journey towards Fairfield, Connecticut. I tuned in Thursday for the online broadcast of the awards ceremony with my cell phone on, to congratulate my new friends still in Oswego. Much to my delight, Connecticut performed very well:
- A METHOD TO MINIMIZE DISEASE IN WEST AFRICA: THE CONVERSION OF FRUIT CROPS INTO ETHANOL FOR DISINFECTANT USE Abigail M. Kelley (Bronze Award) (CSEF Alumni)
- THE OPTIMIZATION OF AN ENZYMATIC BIOBATTERY Lauren Low (Gold Award)
- EFFECTIVE OPTIMIZATION OF BIOGAS PRODUCTION THROUGH ALPHA AMYLASE UTILIZATION William Bryce Anderson (Bronze Award)
- UNPRECEDENTED GLYCEROL FREE BIODIESEL PRODUCTION USING ENZYME CATALYSIS Martha Haddad (Silver Award)
- A NOVEL METHOD FOR ELECTRICAL ENERGY PRODUCTION IN A WHEELAXLE SYSTEM VIA A DUAL CENTRIPETAL RECIPROCATING PIEZOELECTRIC GENERATOR Derek Woo (Bronze Award)
- ALL ORGANIC PAPER PRODUCED FROM THE ENDOCARP LAYER OF VARIOUS FRUITS AND ITS ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFIT Adem Erkam Kose and Ibrahim Akkaya (Award not known) (Not at State Science Fair)
- INVESTIGATION OF A BACTERIORHODOPSIN PTTIO2 HYBRID SYSTEM FOR ENHANCED NANOPHOTOCATALYTIC PRODUCTION OF HYDROGEN Mark Stich (Silver Award)
- INVESTIGATION OF TRANSITION METAL BASED ACETYLACETONATE SPECIES FOR OPTIMIZED PERFORMANCE OF HYBRID NON AQUEOUS REDOX FLOW BATTERIES Nick Szabo (Gold Award)
- TARGETED RELEASE OF MORINGA OLEIFERA CATIONIC PROTEINS FOR THE REMEDIATION OF AQUEOUS POLYCHLORINATED BIPHENYLS Vijay Kadiyala (Gold Award)
- APPLICATION OF THE NEAR INFRARED LUMINESCENCE PROPERTY OF EGYPTIAN BLUE AND RELATED ALKALINE EARTH METAL COPPER SILICATES IN IR TECHNOLOGIES Daniel Munteanu (Bronze Award)
- THE EFFECTS OF GREY WATER ON A VARIETY OF GRASS SPECIES Laura Mocciola (Honors)
- UV-C LIGHTING AS A SUPPLEMENTAL METHOD OF PRESERVATION IN REFRIGERATORS TO REDUCE ENERGY CONSUMPTION Christopher Hwang (Honors)
I’ll never forget the friends I made and the experiences I had at GENIUS Olympiad in Oswego, NY. I would like to thank the state science fair for giving me the opportunity to attend. I would recommend that anyone who attended the state science fair, is genuinely interested in environmental science and interested in learning about other cultures to consider attending next year. It is truly a magical experience.
Graduate, Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School
Just wanted to let you know that I had a super time at the Genius Olympiad 2015! I got to talk a lot to students from Macedonia, Turkey, Ghana, Nigeria, Ukraine, etc. and have made plans to stay in touch via social media.
SUNY Oswego did an outstanding job – they did a ton more since 5 years ago. They have built a new science center and they showed a wonderful planetarium show. The International night was great, with everyone sharing souvenirs from their countries – we brought over 100 trinkets and gave out every one of them! The Connecticut pins you sent were a giant hit. And I collected many treasures.
Oh, and I wanted to let you know I was awarded a bronze medal for my project entitled “A Method To Minimize Disease in West Africa: Converting The Spoiled, Unmarketable Portion of Fruit Crops in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia into Ethanol for Disinfectant Use”. It was so exciting to be recognized for my experiment!
Rising Junior at Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden
I am writing to let you know about this past week at GENIUS Olympiad 2015. Where do I begin? I had an amazing experience. I met people from different countries and learned about many cultures. This was truly an international event. Although we all came from different parts of the world, we found common interests in science and in preserving our environment. My project received Honorable Mention and I have attached some photos from the event. Thank you for this rewarding opportunity
Rising Sophomore at Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden
As the digital curtains pulled to the sides of the television screens, revealing one by one the winners of the GENIUS Olympiad, cheers and applause sounded continuously in the arena. To me, this shared excitement and enthusiasm at building “a better future together” through science demonstrates the unity of people from all around the world. Indeed, throughout the week at SUNY Oswego, I was able to take part in icebreaker activities with teenagers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, have lunch with a Californian who has the same educational aspirations as me, make friends with Indians, exchange words in my second language with an Egyptian, and learn about countless countries through the International Culture Fair. Together, we expressed amazement at the massive, thundering Niagara Falls, acknowledged our love of shopping at the Destiny USA Mall, and confidently presented our projects – our ideas on how to change the world for the better. It was just as amazing to realize that my keen interest and pursuit of science is shared by all these competitors – that I was surrounded by people representing parts of the world that I may never see, and yet we were all similar in this significant way.
The GENIUS Olympiad not only provided me with an opportunity to contribute my ideas to the field of science through the Science Fair itself, but also taught me an invaluable lesson. I realized that the environment is for all people to take care of, and in order to do this, we must work in cooperation. Despite the competitive spirit displayed at the Olympiad, at those final hours at the Award Ceremony, we were all cheering together. By being a part of this past week, I have been a winner of an experience just as valuable as the silver medal I received. I sincerely hope to be a part of the GENIUS Olympiad next year as well.
Rising Junior at Immaculate High School
Ken Hwang – Christopher’s father
I was my son’s supervisor for the trip so I’ll provide you with a view from my vantage point. It was an outstanding experience. Chris and I were able to mingle with some of the brightest individuals and scientists from the 70 or so countries that were represented at the event. Chris received an honorable mention award which was quite a feat for him as a middle schooler amongst a sea of high school participants (some of who had been working on their projects for many more months). So he did place but not as high as he wanted. More importantly, he is even more motivated for next year! The experience was invaluable and the exposure to the international high school students as well as the dormitory and campus was fabulous. He even made some friends which I hope he will keep in touch with.
Thank you for sponsoring Chris and encouraging participation in these types of events. As I have mentioned to his school principal, and science teacher, these are invaluable experiences which cannot be learned in a typical classroom setting. This entire journey has given Chris his first foray into the scientific approach. He also learned valuable lessons such as brainstorming ideas, leading projects from start to finish, documenting and analyzing scientific data, summarizing findings, and presentation (soft) skills. All of these skills are essential for success in the years ahead.
Thanks again for the wonderful experience.
Ken Hwang, father of
8th Grade Graduate at Westside Middle School Academy, Danbury