2017 GENIUS Olympiad-A Fun and Rewarding Week!

Posted: 17 July 2017
Fair Year:

Filed Under: GENIUS Olympiad, Other Fairs, Our Fair

The following are student reports on their week at the 2017 GENIUS Olympiad.  Special thanks to all for sharing their experiences.

See Photos

Competing at GENIUS Olympiad

There are two ways to get an opportunity to compete.  You can win one of the five awards given at our fair or you can apply and compete

Exhibit Hall – photo by Jonathan Siveyer

directly. Direct applications include submitting a research report and paying an application fee ($40 in 2017). If accepted to participate, there is a $105 per attendee fee. In 2017 applications were accepted starting Feb. 1 and closed March 10. This timing works well with deadlines for our fair.

Visit the GENIUS Olympiad website for all the details.

Student Reports

Michelle Woo, Silver Medalist
Rising Senior, Greenwich High School

A Novel N-Doped Carbon Nanotube/Copper Electrode for the Reduction of CO2 to Biofuel

GENIUS was really fun! The week began with icebreakers, where they brought in challenges (such as bouncy obstacle courses, etc.). The next day was the judging — I presented my project in the morning. The international fair was also pretty awesome — many countries set up tables to share little goodies from their country. (Thank you for the CSEF pins! I traded those/gave them out as I was walking around.) On Thursday, the Niagara Falls trip was a nice escapade, and I got to enjoy the falls from up close! Finally, awards were on Friday, where I received a silver medal for my research. Overall, it was a really nice trip where I got to meet interesting people from around the world and enjoy the beautiful sunsets on the Oswego campus!

Jonathan Siveyer
Rising Junior, Fairchild Wheeler Magnet High School

An Investigation into the Capability of Graphene to Produce Electricity During Rainstorms as an Addition to a Traditional Solar Panel

The Genius Olympiad went great! I had a lot of fun and it was really interesting to see all the different people and cultures that came. The trip to Niagara Falls was really cool. The food they offered there was really tasty and they had a lot of it. Overall, I had a very good time.

Bradley Kerr, Bronze Medalist
Rising Sophomore, Danbury High School

Prevention of Zika Virus and other Mosquito Borne Diseases Using Environmentally Sound Control Methods

Genius Olympiad was a great opportunity that allowed me to partake in several amazing events. To begin, the fair was the single most diverse place I have ever been. There were so many different cultures represented that I got to experience that I never would have otherwise. It was also great to see so many people from around the world coming together for the betterment of our generation. Additionally, the fair offered several great events such as band performances, dances, field trips, and ceremonies. These all included multicultural infusions as well. It was especially great for me to share my passion for science and my project to the judges and other kids as well, I’m sure they enjoyed it. I met lots of new people, from the United States as well as other nations. I found souvenirs from other countries, and got a slice what their lives are like. At the end, I was honored to be awarded a bronze medal. Overall, the Genius Olympiad science fair was an amazing display of science and culture and I am extremely happy I was able to go to this beautiful experience.

Catherine Herrick with Bradley Kerr- photo by A.-C. Herrick

Catherine Herrick, Bronze Medalist
Rising Junior, Sacred Heart Academy, Hamden

The Investigation of Pharmaceutical Water Pollution Uptake in Radishes, Raphanus Sativus

I was very excited to learn I was a Finalist in the Genius Olympiad, an international competition with 1100 participants representing 71 countries and 39 states, focusing on environmental issues and their solutions. The Olympiad contestants compete in one of five disciplines which include science, visual and performing arts, business, writing, and robotics, a recently added discipline.

The Olympiad took place over five days. It was busy with registration, a campus tour, various activities, and finally, presentations and judging, culminating in the awards ceremony on the last day, where I won a Bronze medal in the science discipline. What impressed me most was the fact that the Olympiad was less about a competition then an opportunity to learn and share each other’s cultures and ideas about our global environment. This was emphasized through the various activities including an opening flag ceremony, climbing an inflatable obstacle course, an international cultural fair, and a trip to Niagara Falls. All these activities brought contestants together in friendship and laughter. At night we sat in a circle on the lawn under the stars, singing and sharing stories. It was a very powerful experience with memories I will carry with me forever.

The international cultural fair was the pinnacle with participants sharing traditional foods, pins, music and literature from their respective countries. I was amazed by the beauty of the traditional costumes, delicious foods, the music playing and the many languages spoken. Connecticut did not have a formal table set up this year for the international cultural fair and this allowed me to walk around and visit the other contestant’s tables and exchange the pins given to me by the Director of the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, Mr. Wisner, and learn more about their cultures while also promoting our great state of Connecticut. By the end of the night all the CT pins were exchanged for international pins. I enjoyed observing the Bangladesh contestant’s exquisite artistry of detailed henna drawings on other participant’s hands. Bangladesh was by far the most popular “booth” that night with over 100 people lined up to get their hands hennaed!! After the fair, various countries took the stage dancing, singing and playing local instruments.

The highlight of the trip for me was being able to view all the other projects on display. I particularly enjoyed seeing how the participants captured their countries environmental problems in photographs and drawings in the visual arts section of the competition and in the science section. In a time when there are increasing tensions between people around the world events like the GENIUS Olympiad are critical to demonstrating that the world only benefits from diversity by developing different solutions to achieve a common goal.

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