From the Middle School: The da Vinci Decathlon
Last week I was fortunate enough to take three teams of girls to participate in the da Vinci Decathlon.
The da Vinci Decathlon, named after Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars, is an academic competition designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of school students. It began in 2005 as an exciting offshoot of the very successful da Vinci Program for gifted and talented students at Knox Grammar, Sydney. Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines including: mathematics, English, science, code breaking, engineering, ideation, creative producers, art and poetry, cartography and general knowledge.
This year the theme was power. Power holds a different meaning to a mathematician than it does to a politician, an engineer sees it differently from a biologist, an economist differently from a sociologist. It was great seeing how the students interpreted this theme in each of the disciplines. The young minds in the room were impressive to observe and the calibre of the competition was extremely high.
The Year 6 team competed on the Tuesday against 22 other teams from a range of private and public schools across Adelaide. The members of this team were Olivia Buggins, Scarlett Minney, Scarlett Papps-Burford, Matilda Alford, Diya Gowda, Elena Pontifex, Claire Scarpin and Elizabeth Worthley. The students selected to compete in this challenge had to work together and contribute their particular knowledge and skill set to the group. It was their first exposure to an academic competition of this high standard and the girls performed very well.
The Year 7 team worked exceptionally well together and received first place in English and third place in mathematics. The members of this team were Ella Hamilton, Madeleine Bardy, Halina Kudra, Shani Keane, Prathicksha Venkatesan, Rajshree Upadhyaya, Sienna Moreau and Madeline Walker. I was very proud of the way the girls conducted themselves and was impressed with their broad knowledge base.
The Year 9 team complemented each other’s strengths and worked very well together. The members of this team were Rose Kanelos, Tiffany Gaze, Eleanor Coghlan, Sarah Thomson, Martina Theodorakakos, Olivia Walker, Lily Dacombe-Bird and Jennifer Arens. They received a second place in science and ideation and third place in art and poetry and cartography. This team came third overall in the Year 9 competition, which is an exceptional result for an academic competition of this nature.
I would also like to acknowledge the following students that were selected to attend the competition and showed excellent sportsmanship when we were only permitted to send one team to the competition and I randomly selected the team - Chloe Inglis, Sophie Davidson, Lucy Flood, Louella Schapel, Elizabeth Chng, Mia Joseph, Sophie Malandris and Sophia Pattichis.
All the students involved in the decathlon should be very proud of their achievements and the manner in which they represented the school.
Head of Middle School