In July of this year, the Regional da Vinci Decathlon became accessible to Mid North Coast schools for the first time when it was hosted by St Columba Anglican School in Port Macquarie. Inspired by one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Leonardo da Vinci, the Decathlon is an inter-school academic gala event designed to challenge and stimulate the minds of highly capable students. The da Vinci Decathlon was created by Knox Grammar School in 2005, and as the popularity of the event has grown, Regional da Vinci Decathlon events are now run annually across Australia.
Following our appointment as a Chapter School by Knox Grammar, SCAS was excited to be able to offer this fantastic opportunity to students across the Mid North Coast. Three gala days were organised, with teams competing in the Year 5 and 6, Year 7 and 8, or Year 9, 10 and 11 divisions. Considering it was the inaugural event, we had an enthusiastic response with approximately 40 teams, more than 350 students, representing fifteen schools from Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Nambucca Heads and Coffs Harbour.
In teams of eight, students represented their school, working collaboratively to solve various challenges across a range of academic disciplines including Science, Philosophy, Engineering, Art and Poetry, Cartography and Code Breaking. The activities ranged from hands-on engineering projects involving the design of an innovative building prototype to some brain-bending tasks, deciphering codes based on the Illuminati secret society. It was a fantastic opportunity to create rapport between local schools from the Government, Catholic and Independent sectors, as well as providing very capable students the chance to extend their skills and talents in a challenging academic environment. Additionally, we were pleased to be able to provide these opportunities in a regional area, allowing students access to the same great opportunities often only available in the metropolitan centres.
Following on from the huge success of this year’s Decathlon, we can only imagine how this event will continue to expand and grow in future years. With the enthusiastic and positive feedback received from the students and staff involved in 2015, we hope to see many new faces in 2016, making the Mid North Coast Regional da Vinci Decathlon a prominent academic event for the students in our region.
With impressive work from all the students involved, the competition was very tight on each day with the following teams placing first at their respective year level events.
Congratulations to the 2015 Mid North Coast da Vinci Decathlon Champions
Years 5 and 6: St Peter’s Primary School Year 6 and St Columba Anglican School Year 6 Girls (equal 1st place)
Years 7 and 8: St Columba Anglican School Year 7 Boys
Years 9, 10 and 11: St Joseph’s Regional College Year 10