A very robotic weekend

It was a busy weekend for Notre Dame's various robotics teams, with a number of them bringing home some big awards and one even taking an event championship.

VEX IQ Bumble Bees Competition

Six teams from Notre Dame's VEX IQ robotics program competed Saturday at Kettering University, with five of the teams making the play-offs. 

Team #3333J, seventh graders, won the event, and were ranked #1 after the eight qualification matches. The teams also won the robot driving and programming skills challenge and the Design Award.

Team #3333A, third graders, won the Elementary Division Excellence Award and were in 3rd place after eight qualification matches. The Excellence Award qualifies them for the Michigan State Championship in mid February. 

Oakland County Competitive Robotics Association Robotics (OCCRA)

This weekend, the OCCRA Killer Bees attended the county championship at Walled Lake Western High School. There were a total of 16 teams from high schools around Oakland County and the Killer Bees finished as semifinalists and lost to the eventual county champions. The Bees also won the Beautiful Bot Award.

VEX Robotics

Two of Notre Dame's Vex Robotics teams competed at an event in Lapeer on Saturday with 40 other teams from Michigan.  

Team 33J, "Partially Passive Bees," (ninth graders Josh Lyiynen, Lee Lindsey, Jonathan Hubbard, and Sherwood Rivera) had a strong showing at their first event of the year and went undefeated in their qualification matches. They also served as the captains of their alliance in the finals. 

Unfortunately, 33J had some bad luck in their last match and got knocked out early. The team had been doing a lot of experimenting with different robot designs for the past few months, and have a large collection of prototypes to prove it. Two weeks before the event, they decided to start on a brand-new robot, which was not a sure thing to be ready for the event. But they proved themselves.

"They sure know how to build a robot," said team mentor Jerry Palardy.

This event also was the first ever for Team 33B, "Predators," comprised of eighth and ninth graders, and they were full of energy. In spite of a tough qualification match schedule, they still made it into the finals by getting picked to be on the #16 alliance. 

"Their positive attitude and off-the-charts enthusiasm didn't go unnoticed, and the team took home the Judge's Award," Palardy said. "They are off to a sensational start. And thanks to Jaimie Krankle for helping to mentor the team!"

Comments or questions? mkelly@ndpma.org.
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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy
Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." NDPMA is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers and is accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at www.ndpma.org