Da Vinci Decathlon report by Year 7 students


On Monday 24 to Wednesday 26 September 2012 Knox hosted the International/National da Vinci Decathlon, which celebrates the academic gifts of Australian youths.

Knox entered a Year 7 team of eight students, Brad Ellwood, Ben Jackson, Marcel Lima, Max Nguyen, Nate Pfeiffer, Jalen Ren, Joel Sved and Danuka Tennakoon. A number of national schools attended as well as a number of international schools that participated via Skype.

As the event was held over three days, all teams stayed at the school, visitors in the boarding house and Knox boys in Borambil Street. The lack of sleep added to the challenge! The first day included getting to know the other schools over an afternoon tea and then straight down to business with the first two challenges, culminating in a much needed evening barbeque. The second day comprised not only of Decathlon competition but sightseeing around Sydney Harbour for all the competitors. For many students, this was the first time they had glimpsed the many sites around Sydney. The weather was perfect for a day out and it was a welcome break from the focus on academics.

The third day was full of rigorous challenges that tested our mental capabilities. This was a tough day, not only for the competitors, but for the many teachers that had to mark and score the papers. Competition was fierce between schools, everybody wanting to win. As the competition drew to an end, there was a sense of anticipation as our parents entered the hall to hear the results.

After all the hard work and dedication we put in, including before school and lunchtime coaching with Ms Aitken, Knox Grammar School emerged triumphant, placing first in the National competition and fourth in the International competition.

Not only was this a fantastic experience for all students participating, but it was also a great way to meet other students, make new friendships and share knowledge with other schools.

Story written by Jalen Ren and Joel Sved, Year 7