Computer Applications Olympiad Results


Two factors are common among the winners of the 2015 Applications Olympiad announced at Kelvin Grove earlier this week .   All the winners take CAT (Computer Application Technology) or similar and all except one only changed school to go from Primary School to High School.   The exception went from Grade 1 to Grade 12 in the same school.

The Applications Olympiad challenges participants to use common computer applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and databases to solve a set of problems.  Of the 13 193 who entered the Olympiad, only 15 made it to the Finals which were held at Bergvliet High in Cape Town.  These 15 represented five provinces:

  • Three were from the Eastern Cape
  • One from the Free State
  • Three from Gauteng
  • Two from KwaZulu-Natal
  • Six from the Western Cape

Jade Caldicott was the only female participant.   Olympiad manager Peter Waker explained:  “In the past the girls made up nearly half of all finalists, won many medals and in 2011 even won the competition outright;  2015 is just an unusual year.”

Most unusually among the Grade 12 participants was the only Grade 9 ever to make it to the Finals.  Albert Dreyer will have to wait till next year before he can take CAT at school, but this has not stopped him from competing and winning a place in the Finals.  “He is fortunate that he can take advanced classes at the University of the Free State” said Peter Waker.  “I hope more universities will offer such opportunities to deserving learners”.

The winners were recognised at an awards function attended by amongst others, Western Cape MEC for Education, Minister Debbie Schäfer, Mokgadi Madiga from the Department of Science & Technology, and Western Cape Education Head, Penny Vinjevold.

The winner of the gold medal was Robert Wood from Michaelhouse, KwaZulu-Natal.  Robert is a regular participant in the Programming Olympiad and Applications Olympiad – where he won bronze in 2014.  Although he spends up to fifteen hours per week on the computer, he also enjoys outdoor activities – especially rock climbing.

While going through their histories in order to prepare introductions for each of the medal winners, Peter Waker noticed that all of them had only ever attended one primary school and one high school – except Greg Harmse who had attended Lilyfontein School from Grade 1 to Grade 12.  “There is something to be said for avoiding a change of schools” he said, adding “In future we will check whether this is a trend, or merely a co-incidence”.

The Final Results:

Gold: Robert Wood                     Grade 12              Michaelhouse                  KwaZulu-Natal

Silver: Fayaz Kimmie                    Grade 12              Islamia College               Western Cape

Silver:  Matthew Symon              Grade 12              Herzlia High                      Western Cape

Bronze:  Marc Domancie                Grade 12              Edgemead High            Western Cape

Bronze:  Greg Harmse                     Grade 12              Lilyfontein School        Eastern Cape

Bronze:  Roché Visser                      Grade 12              President High           Western Cape


Joshua Bruton                      Grade 12              Curro Aurora                        Gauteng

Jade Caldicott                      Grade 12              Curro Mossel Bay                   Western Cape

Albert Dreyer                       Grade 9                UFS Python Project                 Free State

Isaac Gumbi                         Grade 12              Afrikaanse Hoër Germiston         Gauteng

Grant Oppelt                        Grade 12              Alexander Road High              Eastern Cape

Marthinus Steyn                  Grade 12              Florida High                                  Gauteng

Pieter Theron                       Grade 12              Worcester Gymnasium           Western Cape

Dylan Warwick                    Grade 12              Grey High                                 Eastern Cape

Steve Yuk                               Grade 12              Domino Servite High             KwaZulu-Natal