High school students across the world have amped up participation in GENIUS Olympiad's second year of robotics competition, and their efforts will be on display starting June 12, as an estimated 1,200 visitors take part in the eighth annual finals of the global environmental competition at SUNY Oswego.

"Robotics has grown way more than expected," said Dr. Fehmi Damkaci, SUNY Oswego chemistry chair and the founder and director of GENIUS Olympiad. "We may add more (categories) related to robotics in the near future to provide more experiences for students, such as drones or underwater robotics."

Besides robotics, students from up to 70 countries and 34 states will compete in science, visual and performing arts, writing and business at the GENIUS finals, sponsored by Terra Science and Education Foundation as well as the college.

Robotics entrants will compete in a master game titled "Genius Zookeeper" to test the engineering and programming skills of competitors on 46 teams of up to three students each.

Some team names echo the theme: Zoobot 2.0 from Thai students, Atomic Alpacas from a New York team and Genius Zookeeper Akyltai from Kyrgyzstan. Other names reflect GENIUS Olympiad's focus on the environment: The Farmer from Albania, Green Jeff from Laos and a team from Ghana named Emergency Response Robots to Evacuate Victims of Natural Disaster.

Competitors will use their own customized robots in Lego, Tetrix or Vex categories to transport "lost animals"  -- omnivores, carnivores and herbivores -- which must be placed in their respective habitats to earn water and food "resources" that also must be sorted by type.

Several events during GENIUS Olympiad are free and open to the public: the opening ceremony and public viewing of projects from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, in Marano Campus Center arena; an International Cultural Fair, featuring students in national and regional attire, as well as multicultural crafts and entertainment, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 13 in the arena; the annual GENIUS College Fair from 9 to 11 a.m. June 15 along Marano Campus Center concourse; and, later that day, the competition's award ceremony from 1:15 to 3 p.m. in the arena.

Damkaci said GENIUS Olympiad continues to seek volunteers to judge several categories of entries. Anyone who has a bachelor's degree or professional experience in the appropriate field can judge. To register, visit http://geniusolympiadapplication.org/JudgeRegistration.aspx. Each judge will receive gifts of appreciation.

Students and their mentors will take a day off June 14 to visit Niagara Falls and Destiny USA. Following the competition, Terra Science and Education Foundation has planned three optional trips: to New York City; to both Washington, D.C., and New York City; and to tour Ivy League universities in Boston and New York City.

For more information about GENIUS Olympiad, visit info@geniusolympiad.org.