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Kolbe’s Gifted & Talented

Kris Lightly (GATE Coordinator)

This month, eight Year 9 and four Year 8 GATE students participated in OzCLO – the Australian Computational and Linguistics Olympiad. The competition involved extremely challenging university-level language problems. The teams had to work independently and collaboratively to understand, hypothesise and ultimately crack the code of various obscure languages. Ancient Umbria (closely related to Latin) and Lardil (an Indigenous language of Mornington Peninsula) were amongst the fascinating languages tackled by our young budding linguists.

After setting up a communal study playlist, the Kolbe OzCLO teams quickly divided the tasks and got stuck into deciphering the languages. They worked incredibly well together, sharing ideas and helping each other out when asked. After a gruelling two hour competition, they were suitably exhausted, though still had the energy to engage in several dance breaks whenever a banger of a song came on. 

Unfortunately, our teams didn’t make the finals this year. However, all three teams were awarded Silver Certificates, with one being only two points away from Gold. This is the best Kolbe has ever achieved in OzCLO, and is especially impressive given they were competing against some much older students. Regardless of their placing, all involved should be very proud of their efforts. Well done, Kolbe OzCLO teams!

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