Notre Dame VRC robotics update

Second year in a row a team of Marist Academy 8th graders make it deep into the competition​.

During a busy couple of weeks, Notre Dame's extensive robotics program participated in the FIRST Robotics World Championships (high school) held in Detroit at Cobo Center, the VEX IQ Robotics World Championship (lower and middle schools), a huge competition that brought more than 15,000 students from 36-plus countries to Louisville, Ky., and finally, the VEX Robotics World Championship (VRC) (middle school), also held in Louisville, which included the participation of Team 3333B "Butter," comprised of Marist Academy eighth graders Payton Beckman, Ricky Czapski, Jackson Krieger and Joe Lasota. 

Team 3333B qualified for the world championship by winning the Michigan state championship a few weeks earlier. VRC competition involves robots designed and constructed with metal components, as opposed to VEX IQ, which competes with plastic robots.

According to Jerry Palardy, who mentors NDPMA's VRC participation, the VRC "worlds" is truly an international event as team 3333B paired up with and competed against teams from China, Finland, Kazakhstan, Japan and the United Arab Emirates to name just a few.

"There were teams from at least 50 countries at the VRC," said Palardy. "There had to be more than 800 teams competing in the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. It was a massive event."

Palardy said this was the second year in a row that NDPMA fielded a team at the VRC event, and for the second year in a row a Notre Dame team advanced to the elimination round.  

"Our team's alliance partner for eliminations was a team from Saratoga, Calif.," Palardy said. "They gave it their best effort, but in the end came up short against an alliance from China that went on ultimately to win the championship."

At the end of this year's competition, officials from VRC announced the game for next year. 

"Next year's VRC game will be called 'Tower Takeover,' and our kids are already working on designs for the new robots," Palardy said.

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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. Notre Dame Prep 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 Marist Academy enrolls students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. NDPMA is an International Baccalaureate "World School" and is conducted by the Marist Fathers and Brothers. It 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