The da Vinci Decathlon is an academic competition that is designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of high school students. Based on Leonardo da Vinci's determination to uncover the unknown, students from all over Australia were encouraged to showcase higher level thinking in English, Maths, Ideation, Engineering, Art and Poetry, Science, Creative Producers, Cartography, Code Breaking and Legacy. This year, with the theme of Chance, the Year 7-8 Decathlon was held 4 May, and the Year 9-11 Decathlon was held 5 May, run by Knox Grammar School. While Decathlon’s are usually hosted by Knox Grammar School, due to COVID-19, the Decathlon was held online, and involved a meeting of 100+ schools, all on Zoom. This gave us the opportunity to compete against schools from other states, that would not usually be able to compete due to the geographical distance. While it was extremely different to the norm, it was still a day filled with fun and academic challenge.
After the initial meeting on Zoom, groups of schools were separated into breakout rooms, with Knox Old Boys hosting each room. They directed each session, and as a result of their hard work, all schools completed and submitted their work on time, to the best of their efforts. As a result of taking part in the Decathlon, we learnt, and enhanced a variety of skills, including teamwork, and creative thinking, and reflective of the online environment, collaboration and media literacy skills. A highlight from the afternoon was Creative Producers, in which teams took part in a drama performance, addressing the stimulus reminiscent of the classic philosophical dilemma of the ‘trolley problem'. This required us to display quick thinking, and teamwork skills, planning, performing and filming the performance on the iPads in 20 minutes. A special thank you to Ms Mann, as we applied the skills we had learnt in our practice sessions, allowing for a better, and more cohesive outcome. Thank you also to Ms Ngui, and Mrs Westerbrink who enhanced our communication, critical thinking and organisational skills, enabling us to feel more cohesive as a team. Finally, a huge thank you to Miss Brown, for running the event at Tara, and ensuring each team had a fantastic time competing and strengthening our approaches to learning.
Overall, the Da Vinci Decathlon of 2021 was an extremely enjoyable and rewarding time, which has without a doubt equipped us with skills that will stay with us in the future.
Congratulations to the Year 9 and 10 teams who placed first in Code Breaking! This is an excellent result as there were over 100 schools competing each day – more than in previous years due to the online format.
Other results included:
Year 7 – 5th in Code Breaking
Year 8 – 5th in Creative Producers and equal 4th in Engineering