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May 13, 2022

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

Sixth-grade robotics teams finish another successful outing for the school with their 'durable' award-winning robot at major international robotics competition. 

From left, Sofia Arinez, Jorge Arinez, Vanessa Artinian, Sherry Staniszewski, Caden Staniszewski, Anthony DiGrande, coach Jerry Palardy, Chris Artinian and Sarah Artinian are at the VEX Worlds Robotics competition in Dallas, Texas.

Notre Dame fielded two teams in the VEX IQ Challenge Elementary School bracket of the VEX Worlds Robotics competition that was held in Dallas over the past two weeks. Sixth graders Sofia Arinez and Vanessa Artinian worked together as team 3333M, "The Green Oranges," while classmates Caden Staniszewski, Christopher Artinian and Anthony DiGrande competed as team 3333S, also known as "Gerald."

The May 10-12 VEX-IQ ES competition was for students 12 and younger who build robots out of plastic parts. Students design, build and program their robots, then compete against local teams with the possibility of advancing to face teams from all around the world. In Dallas this year, there were teams from all over the world, including from Australia, China, Germany, Ghana and, of course, Pontiac, Michigan. VEX Worlds is an enormous competition, with over 500 teams in the 12 and under bracket alone.

"Our students started on their first robot back in September, and since then have been testing, refining and practicing, and have even completely rebuilt their robots at least three times during that period," said Jerry Palardy, who mentors the Notre Dame robotics program and accompanied the students to Dallas along with their parents. "They spent a lot of time on these robots, and their hard work paid off."

Sofia Arinez and Vanessa Artinian are having fun while testing their robot in the pit. More photos below.

Palardy noted that qualifying for VEX Worlds is an accomplishment in itself. He reports that team 3333S (Gerald) finished 25th in their division, just barely missing the cut-off to advance to the playoffs. He said team 3333M (The Green Oranges) were able to advance to their division finals and in seventh place. 

"To top it off, 3333M also won the 'Build Award' for having a well-constructed and durable robot," he said. "Until this year, Notre Dame had never won the Build Award. But this year, we received it for Vex IQ (12 and under) and VRC (15 and under). The judges must really like how we build our robots."

All things considered, Palardy said it was another highly successful robotics event for the school and the students had fun and learned a lot, which is the whole point of these events.

The Build Award was presented to team 3333M, Sofia Arinez and Vanessa Artinian in Dallas.

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

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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