Summer bees

Notre Dame robotics win summer events in Monroe and Taylor, plan a third in Indianapolis.

Notre Dame's Killer Bees are taking advantage of opportunities for competition during the summer to sharpen their build and operating skills as they participated in two events in June and are planning on a third in July. According to Louise Palardy, a team mentor and manager of the school's robotics center, Team 33 is gaining valuable experience that should pay dividends when the next FIRST Robotics season starts.

"We actually built two identical robots so we can continue to work on programming and improvements after the robot-building deadline, or 'bag day,' which requires us to seal our competition robot in a bag and not un-bag it until we arrive at our competition," she said. However, the 2019 season will be the last season with the bag day rule. Starting in 2020, we will be allowed to continue to work on the robot up to and between competitions."

The team's first summer competition was at the 2019 Big Bang, held June 14-15 at the Taylor SportsPlex in Taylor, Mich. That was followed by the Michigan Advanced Robotics Competition, which was held June 20-21 at Monroe High School in Monroe, Mich.

"Our students stepped up and led the Bees to a #1 and #2 seed finish for both events," Palardy said. "The #1-seeded Killer Bees then picked their #2-seeded classmates and went on to win both of these off-season events."

Palardy said the Killer Bees now are gearing up for the 20th annual Indiana Robotics Invitational to be held at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis July 11-13. 

"This is one of the most competitive events of the year and the top 68 teams in the world are invited," she said.

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Notre Dame is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. Notre Dame Preparatory School enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named Michigan's best 50 Catholic high school three of the last four years ( Notre Dame's lower and middle schools enroll students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All Notre Dame schools have been authorized by International Baccalaureate as "World Schools" and the entire institution 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, visit the school's home page at