Nunez Robotics Team Tops 'Core Values' Category at Statewide Competition

Winning Robotics Team

Pictured with team mentor and Nunez STEAM Director Julie Rexford are, first row from left, Jacquemo Barnhart, Eaden Maynard, Beatrice DeFraites and Violet LeBlanc. On the second row are Brenden Causey, Ricky Wuertz III, Bryer Johnson, Joshua DeFraites and Clarke Lozes. Not pictured is Greysen Constance.

A team of first-time robot builders between the ages of 9-14 representing Nunez Community College recently won First Place in the Core Values category for the Louisiana FIRST LEGO League.

Nunez STEAM Director Julie Rexford, who mentored the Nunez team, heaped praise on the young squad for growing into accomplished roboticists between October and February despite starting the program late due to Hurricane Ida.

“These are 10 students in four grades from six schools with no background in robotics who came together and honestly accomplished a whole lot in a very short period of time,” said Rexford. “It was awesome as a teacher to watch them build and program robots and solve real-world problems. Part of why I love this competition is because it builds soft skills like collaboration and communication.”

The Nunez team topped the Core Values Category, which awards teams for “[expressing] the FIRST philosophies of Gracious Professionalism and Cooperation through our Core Values: Discovery, Innovation, Impact, Inclusion, Teamwork and Fun.”

Nunez fielded a FIRST LEGO League team for the first time this year, competing against 44 other teams across the state tasked with building and programming robots to perform specific tasks, submitting videos of their robots, and presenting an innovation project to a panel of judges during which they explained how they built and programmed their robots and incorporated the league’s Core Values into their weekly practices.

Rexford said Nunez will participate in the FIRST LEGO League’s 2022-23 season in September, although the team’s lineup is already set if all the current participants decide to return. None of the 10 Nunez team members are currently in the eighth grade, which is the competition’s upper limit. However, if any current members bow out, the vacancy will be advertised to the public.

The 2021-22 Nunez Robotics Team included Jacquemo Barnhart, Brenden Causey, Greysen Constance, Beatrice DeFraites, Joshua DeFraites, Bryer Johnson, Violet LeBlanc, Clarke Lozes, Eaden Maynard and Ricky Wuertz III.

About Nunez Community College
Nunez Community College is a student-centered institution that delivers relevant and innovative curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, and humanities leading to academic credentials and workforce opportunities. Nunez serves a vital role in the community by engaging with partners to support student success and personal growth. Nunez Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees, certificates, and diplomas. Nunez is located at 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, LA. For more information, visit