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The Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition is a problem-solving competition designed to encourage student curiosity and promote multiple modes of thinking. It doesn’t require any level of computer programming ability to enter, however it identifies students who have strong lateral thinking and pragmatic problem-solving skills who may demonstrate future talent in computer programming. The CAT competition 2021 was in Term 1 Week 9. 108 students in the Senior School and 39 students in the Junior School sat the 60-minute online competition.

All Mathematics students in the Senior school were invited to enter, with those in Advanced Mathematics classes strongly encouraged to participate. There were four divisions: Upper Primary (Year 5-6), Junior (Years 7-8), Intermediate (Years 9-10) and Senior (Years 11-12).

The competition contained a mixture of multiple-choice and integer answer questions and incorporated unique ‘three-stage tasks’ that encouraged students to develop informal algorithms and apply them to test data of increasing size or complexity. The original problems were designed to be quick to solve and highly approachable and ranged in difficulty from very easy to challenging. Some questions tested the ability to perform procedures, others required logical thought, and the more challenging problems required the identification and application of algorithms.

Computational thinking is becoming increasingly necessary in many future career paths, with business’ becoming progressively more data driven. The problems and challenges that students may encounter in the future are uncertain and computational thinking skills will help students become more flexible in their problem solving to propose innovative solutions.

The following students performed exceptionally in the CAT competition in Term 1, achieving a High Distinction in their respective divisions, placing them in the top 1% of students who sat the CAT competition in Australia. We are extremely proud of this outstanding achievement:
Year 5: Nicholas Savvoulidis and Tao Wong
Year 6: Caleb Scott and Alexander Molga
Year 7: Matthew Liu
Year 8: Peter Zhang
Year 9: Casper Cai
Year 10: Darren Nguyen and Gunin Singhal
Year 11: Alexander Grice
Year 12: Zihao Wu

The following students also performed well to achieve a Distinction in their respective divisions, placing them in the top 15% of students who sat the CAT competition in Australia:
Year 5: Ryan Lim, Matthew Tran, Aarit Kothari, Anzhi Liao and Jimmy Huang
Year 6: Ned Manifold, Charlie Melillo, Ryan Weinert, Cruz Leon, Aarav Kochar and Jason Li
Year 7: Harry Zhang, Vincent Truong, Tianling Guo, Louis von Doussa and Shaarav Reddy
Year 8: William Carrigan, Lachlan Siow, Andrew Xu, Christian Valentincic, Harry Manifold and Emmanuel Lee
Year 9: Haseef Emad, David Taylor, Alexander Koh, Jake Richardson, Sebastian Birdseye and Wilson Lee
Year 10: Kelly Zhu
Year 11: Nicholas Koh and Kobe Strazdins
Year 12: Guy Strong and Tsz Ngong (Eric) You

Louise Firth
Science and Mathematics Teacher, Senior School