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The da Vinci Decathlon began in 2005 as an exciting offshoot of the very successful da Vinci Program for gifted and talented students at Knox Grammar School, Sydney. The decathlon is named after Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), one of the world’s greatest thinkers and scholars.

The competition places a particular emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity. Teams of eight work together across 10 disciplines: science, mathematics, chess, english, code breaking, engineering, ideation, creative producers, art, poetry, cartography and general knowledge.

The questions and stimulus materials are unknown until each session begins. During the 1.5-hour sessions students need to complete three or four disciplines, therefore students need to distribute the tasks amongst themselves and complete the work required. However, all boys can check, contribute and provide solutions to every paper – it’s a matter of working out and understanding their own strengths and trusting their group members’ strength.

On Wednesday 29 May, a team of Year 7 students represented the School in the South Australian da Vinci Decathlon 2019. We are very proud to have come first place in general knowledge, second place in science and fifth place in engineering.

The following day we had a team of Year 9 students who worked incredibly well together as a team and placed first in mathematics.

Carmen Bester
Coordinator of Students with Diverse Learning Needs