On 24-27 June, sixteen students represented our College at the National da Vinci Decathlon Competition in Sydney. The two teams, one Year 8 and one Year 9, thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to compete at one of the premier academic competitions for Australian school students, completing challenging papers across ten subject disciplines to determine an overall national winner.
Competing in the Year 8 team were: Yalun Yang, Jodie Down, Hannah Grosser, James Harder, Dorothy Hou, Angelina Inthavong, Natalie Mohajer-Iravani, Bita Shahidzadeh Mahani and in the Year 9 team: Parker Britton, Annie Fang, Rihana Jamal (Year 8 student), Simho Lee (Year 8 student), Darsshana Sureskumar, Harry Tyler, Anthony Wu and Kelly Zhou. Both teams demonstrated impeccable character, integrity and teamwork, and many members of the public commented on how well presented and well-mannered they were.
The competition was hosted by Knox Grammar School, where our teams also boarded, getting a taste of boarding school life for three days. On arrival, decathletes were welcomed with a performance for the Knox Grammar Big Band and mingled with students from across Australia through structured icebreaker activities.
Day one of competition was action packed, with the large majority of da Vinci Decathlon disciplines completed in one day. The second day of competition saw the students competing in a Race Around Sydney on cryptic clues scavenger hunt. It was a huge day. Students caught the ferry to Goat Island, explored convict history, posed in front of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House, explored the Hyde Park Barracks and the CBD. It was a real thrill for the Year 8 team in particular, who won the Race Around Sydney after pounding the pavement for more than 15km and decoding cryptic clues, against Sydney school teams.
Though the days were long and academically demanding, students enjoyed their stay at the Knox Grammar dorms and many discovered their favourite way to unwind at the end of the evenings was to play a game of Mafia, an elaborate game of wink murder.
The final discipline to be completed was General Knowledge and the Awards ceremony followed promptly. Huge congratulations to the Year 8 da Vinci team for winning first in Mathematics and second in Code Breaking in the country, and to the Year 9 team for taking out third place in Engineering. These are outstanding results and a reflection of the dedication, collaboration and expertise of all team members.
Mardi Bolton and Kymberly Hampton- Academic Talent Development Faculty