Riley Chapman is congratulated by Mike Graney, Ticonderoga High School principal, after winning a bronze medal at the International Earth Science Olympiad in Italy.
continued “I’ve learned a lot here (Ticonderoga) and the school has done a great job preparing me,” Chapman said. “There were some physics questions I had trouble with, but I could answer them now that I’m taking physics.”
Mike Graney, Ti High principal, said Chapman deserves all the credit.
“We’d like to take credit for Riley’s accomplishments, but he’s a very motivated young man,” Graney said. “We’re proud of him and I’m certain he’ll continue to be very successful.”
As in past years, Taiwanese students dominated the competition. Three of the four Taiwan students won gold medals.
“In Taiwan this is a very big deal,” Chapman said. “If you win a gold medal in Taiwan the government will pay for your education.”
But Americans have one major advantage over their Asian counterparts, Chapman noted.
“Americans are more likely to question authority; to ask questions,” he said. “That’s a great thing in science. A lot of Asians are hesitant to ask questions because they don’t want to appear disrespectful.”
Chapman learned about the International Earth Science Olympiad from his brother, Ben, who competed in the 2009 event in Taiwan.
Like his brother, who is now studying engineering in college, Chapman hopes to become an engineer.