First Things First…

Posted by – Laurie Renaud, Economic Development Coordinator

killer bees logo

The First Robotics Competition is underway and it is another amazing series. Each year the rules change and the students and mentors  have only six short weeks to create a machine that can compete. This year’s challenge is to build and program robots that can shoot discs into a goal.

Mayor Jim McDonald and I went to Chrysler prior to the competition to check out the Notre Dame Killer Bees 33 team and their robots. We were very impressed with everything from the kids, to the mentors to the businesses involved.

Mayor McDonald with Jim Soisson, Killer Bee 33 Mentor since 1996; the start of the Killer Bees 33.

Mayor McDonald with Jim Soisson, Killer Bee 33 Mentor since 1996; the start of the Killer Bees 33.

We had the opportunity to meet with team Killer Bees 33 from Notre Dame Prep School, their mentors and their families to get their perspective on the games, the team and the rewards that evolve from being a part of this team.   This team is like a family and they work hard to get the job done and in the process, reap the benefits of having that close-knit feeling all around them.  Many students come back as mentors, so it is not an experience they forget as they move on from High School or College.

The Killer Bees have taken their first district competition in Waterford, their second district competition in Grand Blanc and are headed to Bedford this weekend and then EMU for the State Championship the following week.

Killer Bees #33

As we left that evening, Mayor Jim McDonald stated “These are the kids of our future and they’re impressive”.  I totally agree.  I have been watching these teams for the last few years and they are indeed amazing.  We wish them luck!  Bring it home Killer Bees 33!


Pictured above, Killer Bees 33 Team

Students: Elizabeth Allard, Mary Allard, Brandon Arthur, Mary Boltri, Hannah Byrd, Daniel Castro, Erika Cryderman, Oana Danciu, Brennan Eagle, Nicole Finn, Sarah Finn, Alexander Fitzpatrick, Zachary Goldasich, Ellen Green, Jessica Green, Kate Grogan, Joseph Grossberg, Allison Kubacki, Sabrina Lasota, Eric Leen, Emily Leopold, Shane Mecca, Demi Outman, Perry Outman, Ashley Palardy, James Pillot, Stephanie Saksa, Joe Soisson, Michael Soisson, Joshua Stanczak, Jack Souffer, Vickram Surendran, Ellie Wallace, Keith Watza, Kyle Weaver, Elizabeth Weeks and Larisa Woryk.

Mentors:  Tim Grogan, Jim Zondag, Isaac Rife, Danna Hobbs, Chris Hunt, Eric Yahrmatter, J.P. Loew, and Jim Soisson.

Sponsors: Chrysler and The Chrysler Foundation, BAE Systems, Ti Automotive, Takata, Patti Engineering, Genisys Credit Union, JDM Systems Consultants, Plex Systems, Recticel Automotive, MasTech, Molex, Autoliv, Irvin, Alberici Constructors, International Industrial Contracting Corporation, Commercial Contracting Corporation, Resol, and Notre Dame Preparatory School.