Each year, Sydney students from Years 5 to 11 compete in The da Vinci Decathlon, a celebration of the gifts of our Australian youth. A full day event, the competition allows students to compete with each other in various academic challenges that place an emphasis on higher order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity.
The event encapsulates the spirit and philosophy of the great Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519). He was not only an influential artist, but also one of the world's greatest thinkers and scholars, demonstrating an ability to perceive the interconnected nature of knowledge and embraced learning with a lifelong passion and determination to uncover the unknown.
Hosted by Knox Grammar School, The da Vinci Decathlon sets challenges over ten disciplines – Engineering, Mathematics, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and General Knowledge.
“The day was a huge success for Scots with all boys displaying characteristics of perseverance, resilience and mateship, giving their best efforts under pressure” said Mr Duncan Kendall, the Assistant Head of the Preparatory School for The Scots College. “Our Year 5 team was particularly successful, claiming first place in the Creative Producers category, and second place in Cartography,” explained Mr Kendall.
Students get real value from participating in this event because of the emphasis on ‘real world’ skills for today’s fast moving information age. The challenges provide the opportunity to push the limits of their current knowledge and skills, as students get to show their peers what can be accomplished through exercising their creative and analytical mind.
“This is a fantastic way to promote the culture of excellence in education. Participating schools have shown that they are forward thinking and competitive in how they approach learning opportunities for their students,” remarked Mr Kendall.
The Decathlon allows students to feel confident in their ability to exceed the boundaries of the traditional classroom. One student explained, “I like the da Vinci event because it is a chance to enrich the students and take them out of the classroom. It gives us a good handle on topics like engineering.”