Recently, students from Nile Academy participated in the Global Environmental Issues – US Olympiad, or Genius Olympiad, from June 24 to June 29, 2012, in Oswego, New York. This year, Genius Olympiad was claimed the “largest competition in the world on environmental issues”, and it had over 450 students and teachers come from 51 countries and 35 U.S. states. Genius Olympiad focuses on bringing students together from all around the world to present their projects on environmental issues. This year, 657 projects were submitted in the fields of science, art, creative writing, design, and athletics, and only 249 of those projects were accepted! Overall, Genius Olympiad is a highly selective competition with an acceptance rate of only 38%. For 2012, grade 11 students Bekir Buyukkocabas and grade 9 students Hamza Alkin and Muhammed Aksahan represented Nile Academy. Bekir Buyukkocabas’s project was based on analyzing how cigarette butts that are thrown into our environments cause both adverse physiological and biochemical responses in plants. His research is very important in understanding how cigarette butts, which are very common in the environment, leave plants, soil organisms, and living organisms devastated and poisoned from the chemicals that enter our environment when the cigarette butts are wetted. Hamza Alkin and Muhammed Aksahan did their science project on growing algae and then producing biodiesel from their extracted oils. They used a Soxhlet extractor and the transesterification process to extract the oil and produce biodiesel.

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