Notre Dame takes the Nissan


Notre Dame team finishes in first place at Saturday's VEX IQ competition hosted by Nissan.

At the Nissan VEX-IQ Ringmaster Tournament held Saturday at Nissan's Technical Center in Farmington Hills, Notre Dame's VEX IQ teams turned in stellar performances with Team 3333J, the Code Crushers, topping all 32 teams in the competition.

"Our 6th-grade boys team of Patrick Soumo, Jose Turrubiartes, Beck Silver and Jeffrey Guo won the event with a score of 206," said Louise Palardy, one of the VEX mentors. "This is the highest score in Michigan! They also won the robot driving and programming skills award and the STEM research project and presentation award. Team 3333J also qualified for the state championship – and if that is not enough – they have the 3rd highest skills score in the state." 

Notre Dame placed three teams in the finals: #3333J in 1st place; #3333B (the Baconators) 3rd-grade team earned 6th place and #3333X (Red-X), the 6th-grade team, earned 10th place.   

According to Palardy, Notre Dame also placed two elementary teams in the top 10 in robot driving/programming skills for the state: #3333K (4th-grade team) Andrew Chang, Auggie Villajuan, Lucas DiGrande and Sami Khouri, currently 6th, and #3333B (3rd-grade team) Brady Rossmiller, Christian Soumo, JJ Sicklesteel and Collin Bankstahl, currently 7th.

"In Saturday's competition, the 3rd-grade team, #3333W (the Warriors) Brendan Kator, Charlie Nadeau, Sully Dooley and Weston Cukrowski, earned the Judges Award for impressing the judges with everything they did, working as a team, displaying good sportsmanship and having a strong foundation," Palardy said.

Team #3333 J – Jose Turrubiartes, Jeffrey Guo, Beck Silver, Patrick Soumo (won event, STEM Award, Skills Award, 3rd in state)
Team #3333 W – Brendan Kator, Charlie Nadeau, Sully Dooley, Weston Cukrowski (Judges Award – 3rd grade team)
Team #3333 K – Andrew Chang, Auggie Villajuan, Lucas DiGrande, Sami Khouri (High Skills ranking)
Team #3333B – Brady Rossmiller, Christian Soumo, JJ Sicklesteel, Collin Bankstahl (High Skills ranking)

Joanne Liu, a language teacher at Notre Dame and the mother of sixth-grader Jeffrey Guo, one of the competitors in VEX IQ, said Saturday's event was a great experience for all.

"The kids not only learned about the robots and how they perform in competition, but they also learned how to deal with stress, control their emotions, and solve problems," she said. "Most important, they are learning to care for each other in many different situations. I love to see them growing that way."

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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