Year 11 students perform at the top of their cohort in Da Vinci Decathlon

20 July 2022

Meriden’s Year 11 students have taken out fourth place in the 2022 Da Vinci Decathlon. Performing at the top of their cohort, the girls achieved top fifteen placings in eight out of the competition’s ten categories, including nabbing second place in the challenging Engineering category.

Eight industrious students made up the Year 11 Team: Helen Liu, Jacinta Rees, Linda Wang, Vanessa Wu, Sophia Yang, Jasmine Ye, Talia Yin and Audrey Zou.

Dr Phoebe Poon, Coordinator of Learning Link – Gifted and Talented, prepared the girls for the competition and said the key to their success was their ability to work to each other’s strengths.

“The Da Vinci Decathlon requires strategy and collaborative problem-solving by all team members. In the lead-up to the competition, the girls attended weekly training sessions where they were able to determine who would be tasked with completing each of the challenges,” said Dr Poon.

“The girls competed against more than fifty other teams made up of the highest achieving students from around the state. Their outstanding results demonstrate the girl’s exceptional skills in multiple disciplines and their ability to think creatively under time pressure,” she said.

Jacinta Rees and Linda Wang, who were tasked with completing the engineering challenge, said one of the best parts of the competition was the way their team members supported each other in moments of pressure during the timed challenges.

“It is incredible what we achieved together under such time constraints and how well we bounced off each other’s energy and ideas. We enjoyed sharing our areas of expertise and it was so exciting when we successfully completed the difficult questions,” said Linda.

“For example, during this year’s Code Breaking paper, our team were stumped on one last question. We decided to pass the paper around to the entire group to get different ideas. Everyone was suggesting possible ciphers and patterns. Minutes before submission, one of the team members cracked the code. We were all ecstatic and cheered each other on!” said Jacinta.

The decathlon is open to Meriden students from Years 7 to 11. Tasks are designed to test students’ higher-order thinking skills, problem-solving abilities and creativity. Teams compete in Engineering, Mathematics and Chess, Code Breaking, Art and Poetry, Science, English, Ideation, Creative Producers, Cartography and Legacy.

Forty Meriden Senior School students participated in the 2022 Da Vinci Decathlon. There were a number of impressive performances by each of the Meriden teams, including our Year 8 Team earning second place in Mathematics and our Year 10 Team placing in the top ten in Creative Producers, English and Cartography.

Congratulations to every student who represented the School in this competition.

The following students made up Meriden’s 2022 Da Vinci Decathlon teams:

Year 7 Team - Lisa (Xintian) Chen, Iris Gai, Olivia Kim, Anna Satchithananthan, Cindy Shen, Lillian Shen, Amelia Von and Jasmine Yang. Reserves: Eva Gao and Emily Seto

Year 8 Team - Heidi Bartlett, Kaitlyn Blair, Angelin Chen, Diya Maninathan, Sunae Park, Reshmi Ramana, Naomi Riaz and Keira Waked. Reserves: Alina Lin and Corrine Xu

Year 9 Team - Sabrina Cao, Leah Har, Olivia Lee, Selina Wang, Meredith Xu, Emily Yang, Victoria Yenson and Sophie Yi. Reserves: Sophie Tan and Maggie Zhang

Year 10 Team - Elaine Huang, Talia Jee, Anjali Kailasanathan, Seeya Naik Panvelkar, Abisha Thevarajah, Jacinda Tjiantoro, Alicia Wang and Rachel Xie. Reserves: Cassandra Seeto and Rita Yeung

Year 11 Team - Helen Liu, Jacinta Rees, Linda Wang, Vanessa Wu, Sophia Yang, Jasmine Ye, Talia Yin and Audrey Zou. Reserves: Karina Cheung and Sienna Kim