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Da Vinci Decathlon

In Week 3, one group of eight students from Years 5-11 competed in the 
Da Vinci Decathlon. Carrying on the legacy of its namesake, this competition creates opportunities for students to explore the interconnected nature of knowledge with a particular emphasis on higher-order thinking skills, problem solving and creativity. Students worked together to complete challenges relating to cartography, mathematics, code-breaking, art and poetry and ideation among many others.

Below are reflections from two students that took part:

Last Thursday, a small group of students from Year 5 and 6 represented Covenant in the Da Vinci Decathlon. It was a fun and challenging experience where each group had a range of papers to complete from a variety of subjects. Everyone in each group had an assigned subject that they needed to complete the papers for (e.g. English, Maths, Art and Poetry). We competed against over 100 other schools in the state. I really enjoyed writing a poem in Art and Poetry with my friend because it was fun coming up with ideas and writing them into the poem. We all worked together even if others weren’t doing the same subject and it turned out that many of us had different knowledge areas that helped in different ways. The Da Vinci Decathlon was a really fun way to learn and challenge our abilities. 

Isy McCausland

Da Vinci was like a mystery bag. I went into it not knowing what I’d get out of it – especially considering it was online this year. However, you could say I ‘struck gold’, as it was both an enjoyable and challenging day. I loved solving problems with my peers and the satisfying feeling of finally getting an answer (even though we weren’t always certain about it) and going head to head against 183 other schools. While taking the papers, I was surprised to see how much I knew. But, also, how much I didn’t know. That didn’t matter too much though, as we all collaborated together on every paper.

First, I worked on science. I enjoyed it until I got up to halfway through, where I gave up and worked on another paper. That’s the beauty of Da Vinci. You can move from one paper to another if you’re bored. I helped out with Maths and Code-breaking (which I regretted as it was even harder than Science) and worked on some particularly challenging questions. Then, I worked on ‘Creative Producers’ – where we took on a moral dilemma (the trolley problem) and integrated it into an interesting skit. We only had 15 minutes to come up with a creative idea, script and film it all. We decided to make a skit about the ‘trolley problem’ during World War II, using both comedy and logic to gain the marker's favour. Although the final product was not perfect or ideal, we all got a good heavy laugh from it. Lastly, I worked on Art & Poetry.

It was a tough and exciting experience – having to work with challenging problems under a time limit. However, the team and group aspect made it very enjoyable and interesting. Even though people were ‘assigned’ to specific papers or subjects, everyone collaborated together. It was really nice to work with my peers to work towards the same goal and to all celebrate together when we tackled a hard question or challenge. 

Elijah Wong

Da Vinci is a very tough competition. Well done to our students on receiving the following places:

Year 7- 5th Code breaking, 7th Maths, 11th Ideation (74 teams)

Year 8 – 7th Code breaking (77 teams)

Year 9- 10th in Art and Poetry, 6th Code Breaking (71 teams)

Year 10- 16th in Cartography (73 teams)

Year 11- Maths- 10th (43 teams)

As a teacher, it was a pleasure to see the collaboration, encouragement and authentic love of learning and challenges that our students exhibited on their competition day. Well done to all students involved!