Students put their problem solving skills to the test for state-wide academic decathlon


More than 3,500 of the state’s brightest girls and boys from Years 5 to 11 last week competed in a massive academic challenge called the da Vinci Decathlon at Knox Grammar School in Wahroonga, Sydney.

The Decathlon, which was established by Knox Grammar in 2005, celebrates the academic gifts of young people by providing a stimulating and challenging competition run in the spirit of an Olympic Decathlon.

This year's NSW da Vinci Decathlon overall winners were:

  • Year 5 – 1st – Illawarra Christian School, 2nd - Knox Grammar School, 3rd – Abbotsleigh School
  • Year 6 – 1st – Knox Grammar School, 2nd - Queenwood School for Girls, 3rd - Illawarra Christian School
  • Year 7 - 1st - Pymble Ladies' College, 2nd - Shore School, 3rd - Smith's Hill High School
  • Year 8 - 1st - Sydney Girls' High School, 2nd - Knox Grammar School, 3rd - Pymble Ladies' College
  • Year 9 - 1st - Pymble Ladies' College, 2nd - James Ruse Agricultural High School, 3rd - Meriden School
  • Year 10 - 1st - Sydney Girls' High School, 2nd - Pymble Ladies' College, 3rd - Cranbrook School
  • Year 11 - 1st - Meriden School, 2nd - Abbotsleigh, 3rd - Roseville College
The da Vinci Decathlon is designed to challenge and enrich the learning of the highest performing students in Australia.  The competition offers a unique opportunity for students to engage in an interschool competition, to extend themselves intellectually and creatively, to problem-solve collaboratively and to develop their skills as an effective team member.

Students compete in teams of eight across 10 disciplines including ideation, engineering, mathematics, code breaking, art and poetry, science and English.

What began as a small local competition has grown to be a national and global phenomenon, involving thousands of government and non-government students across Australia.

The growth has been so enormous, and interest so high, that chapter schools in regional NSW, the ACT, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, the Northern Territory and Queensland now run individual local and state competitions, with a national final held in June each year at Knox Grammar School.

Across Australia, more than 16,000 young people will compete in da Vinci Decathlon events throughout 2019.

Every two years an international da Vinci Decathlon and ‘Race Around the Renaissance’ is held in Europe, with the next competition due to take place later this year, with participation from schools across the globe.

For more information, please see the da Vinci Decathlon website,