Killer Bees invade Detroit

Notre Dame Prep's FIRST Robotics team participates in World Championship in Detroit; many alumni also on hand to cheer them on.

Last week, more than 17,000 students from around the world traveled to Detroit, putting their innovation skills to the test at the annual FIRST Championship presented by Qualcomm Incorporated and held at the Cobo Center and Ford Field.

The four-day Detroit event, attended by more than 43,000 people, came down to a heart-pounding conclusion Saturday night in front of thousands of cheering fans at Ford Field when teams competed in match finals for the FIRST® Robotics Competition and FIRST® Tech Challenge world championships. 

Notre Dame Prep's FIRST Robotics entry in the competition, designed and built by Team 33, the Killer Bees, was eliminated in the semifinals after a well-fought battle by both sides.

According to Louise Palardy, team mentor as well as Notre Dame's STEM specialist and manager of the school's robotics center, the world championship in Detroit was very well run and a great experience for the Killer Bees.

"After 10 qualification matches, we were chosen by the No.-2-seeded team to form an alliance," she said. "There were 68 teams in each of the six divisions and we made it through the quarterfinals by taking it to three matches. We lost in the semifinal round after having two matches that were within a few points."

Four teams — from Brighton, Mich.; Sterling Heights, Mich.; Eindhoven, Netherlands; and Philadelphia, Pa. — were the FIRST Robotics Competition winning alliance for this year’s game, DESTINATION: DEEP SPACE Presented by The Boeing Company. 

"The students on the Killer Bees robotics team are living the mission of Notre Dame and FIRST robotics by inspiring many other teams through their actions," Palardy added. "They are committed to the group effort and we also are blessed to have such a great group of dedicated mentors guiding them along the way." 

Palardy also said a number of alumni came downtown to cheer the Bees on and NDPMA corporate president Fr. Leon Olszamowski, s.m., also was on hand Friday to provide additional encouragement to the students. 

Some of the NDP alumni who attended throughout the weekend included Carolyn Beyer NDP'03, Andrew Woodcox NDP'08, Erin Grogan NDP'11, Elizabeth Allard NDP'14, Demi Outman NDP'13, Daniel Castro NDP'15, Ellen Green NDP'14, Katherine Fitzpatrick NDP'11, Daniel Murvar NDP'18, Tom Riss NDP'18, Laura Lund NDP'16 and Andrew Palardy NDP'12.

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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 upper school 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 schools enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three Notre Dame schools 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