Sci-fi meets robotics in Notre Dame’s new STEM wing

Notre Dame eighth graders are putting sci-fi literature into practice in the school's new science, art and technology wing.

More information on this week's open house sessions for middle school and lower school.

Kelly Simon's eighth-grade language and literature classes recently finished up a study of science fiction in literature. Part of their in-class discussions revolved around some of the inventions that were brought about as a result of sci-fi books and other popular media.

The students got a chance to put what they studied into 3D action when they spent time in Louise Palardy's robotics lab located in Notre Dame's new science, art and technology wing.

"The students came into the lab and were challenged to create a prototype of an impactful invention," Palardy said. "These prototypes needed to be an ethical and thoughtful design of a new technology that could be created for social good." 

With science fiction as a guide and a source of inspiration, the students were asked to think of problems that exist around them. 

"They actually defined their problem before creating a solution," Palardy added. "A few examples included, how might they create a robotic glove in order to assist people with arthritis? Or how might they create a personal alert system in order to locate people in need of help during a natural disaster?"

Palardy said the students seemed both inspired and motivated as they put their creations together in the robotics lab.

"It's another great example of how there's real collaboration among the various classes and subjects, especially now with this great new STEM wing," she 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. 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