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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Nunez Robotics Team Tops ‘Core Values’ Category at Statewide Competition

The Louisiana FIRST LEGO League robotics team from Nunez Community College recently claimed First Place for Core Values during the statewide competition. Nunez was one of 45 teams comprised of students aged 9-14 that learned the basics of robotics, built robots to perform specific tasks and presented an innovation project to a panel of judges. 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.

Photo Courtesy of Nunez Community College

Contributed by Nunez Community College

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.

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