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February 22, 2021

For information on enrollment and registration at Notre Dame, please visit the admissions section of our website here.

Notre Dame robotics teams get together as alliance to take weekend competition in Monroe.

Notre Dame's Team 3333W, Brooklyn Haddad (8), Dino Acciavatti (7) and Kevin Carter (7), along with Team 33T finished first at the MCCC/First Solar Winter VRC MS/HS In-Person "Change up" Tournament in Monroe on Feb. 20.

In a VEX Robotics Competition (VRC) event held Saturday at Monroe County Community College in Monroe, Mich., two Notre Dame teams earned tournament championships, sending them to the state finals event to be held in late March.

According to Jerry Palardy, who mentors NDPMA's VRC participation, Notre Dame's teams 33T and 3333W were the big winners, with the middle schoolers in Team 3333W coming out on top against older students.

"Team 3333W is comprised of the new kids," Palardy said. "This is the first year in robotics for middle school students Brooklyn Haddad (8), Dino Acciavatti (7) and Kevin Carter (7). They are learning fast while having fun. This also was their first win, made even more impressive by the fact that it was at an event with mostly high school teams."

VRC is an international school robotics competition for middle and high school students. Twenty-two teams from Michigan participated in Saturday's event. In VRC, typically there are three or four students per team and schools can send many teams. Notre Dame sent four teams to Saturday's event, which was called the MCCC/First Solar Winter VRC MS/HS In-Person "Change up" Tournament, and there were also multiple teams from Cranbrook, Catholic Central, Shrine, Troy, Flint and Monroe participating.

Palardy said Saturday's matches began with a 15-second autonomous period, followed by a longer driving period. 

"Teams that have good autonomous programming can start the match with an advantage," he said. "Our teams spent extra time working on their programs over the winter break, and it definitely paid off. For the qualification matches, the our teams consistently won autonomous and all of our teams made the cut-off for the elimination bracket."

During eliminations in VRC events, two teams form an alliance and compete against other alliances in a single-elimination bracket. The Notre Dame alliance of teams 33T and 3333W rose through the eliminations to win the event. Winning the event advances both teams to the state championship, which will be held in Monroe on March 20 for middle school and in Grandville on Mar. 21 for high school teams. 

Notre Dame students set up for their match on Feb. 20 in Monroe, Mich.  From left, Brooklyn Haddad (8), Dino Acciavatti (7), Kevin Carter (7), Josh Samuels (12) and Tommy Joppich (12).

More on VEX Robotics Competition (VRC): VEX Robotics Competition is a robotics competition for registered middle and high school teams which utilizes the VEX V5 Construction and Control System. In this competition, teams design, build and program robots to compete at tournaments. At tournaments, teams participate in qualifying matches where two randomly chosen alliances of two teams each compete for the highest team ranking. Before the elimination rounds, the top-ranking teams choose their permanent alliance partners, starting with the highest ranked team, and continuing until the alliance capacity for the tournament is reached. The new alliances then compete in an elimination bracket, and the top two alliances in the bracket qualify for the overall Michigan competition.

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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 Preparatory 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 pre-kindergarten through grade eight. All three 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 National Association of Independent Schools. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school’s home page at