da Vinci Decathlon winners came from across the region

Posted 31st August 2015

Bright young Year 5 students from The Armidale School have followed up their success at the da Vinci Decathlon academic challenge in Sydney earlier this year by winning their section at the Northern NSW satellite event hosted by TAS last week.

More than 600 students in 75 teams from primary and secondary schools from as far as Moree, Dubbo and Coffs Harbour attended the Northern NSW da Vinci Decathlon, held from 26-28 August.

“The difficulty of the questions was about the same, but we had a lot more confidence and were more organised this time and knew how to work as a team more,” said Harrison Price. “My favourite challenge was the Codebreakers challenge; another boy and I both had grandfathers who were in the Second World War and had told us about how to think about deciphering the codes.”

The titles were shared around the schools, with Armidale’s Ben Venue Public winning Year 6, PLC Armidale Year 7, Armidale High taking out honours in Year 8, whilst Years 9 and 10 were won by Bishop Druitt College Coffs Harbour.

Devised by Knox Grammar School in Sydney, the competition is run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon. Students working collaboratively in teams of eight are required to compete in tasks that encompass engineering, mathematics, code breaking, games of strategy, art and poetry, Science, English and philosophy.

Organiser Ms Catherine Boydell said it was fantastic success and already there were plans for a bigger event next year.

“We’re really hoping to be able to have some combined teams next year so clever students from the very small schools can join together, to ensure that any children with ability, no matter what school they attend, can take part,” she said.

We are indebted to Knox Grammar for allowing us to deliver the competition in regional NSW, which is a fantastic academic outreach opportunity particularly to the primary school participants.”


Year 5 students Hugo Catterall, Cameron Le Surf, Ben Rowe, Harrison Price, Harrison Ditchfield, Frank Perrottet, Will Jubb and (front) Marcus Hempel celebrate their win in the Northern NSW da Vinci Decatlhon at TAS on 28 August