Meraux Foundation Sponsors Nunez Robotics Program

Meraux Foundation Board Members visited Nunez Community College Sept. 25 to present a check to sponsor the Nunez Robotics team. Pictured from left are Paige Davis, Nunez Director of Development, Bill Haines, Meraux Foundation Board Member, Dr. Julie Rexford, Nunez Director of STEAM, Chris Haines, Meraux Foundation Board Member, and Lenny Unbehagen, Nunez Assistant Vice Chancellor of Education, Training and Student Success. The donation from the Meraux Foundation will make participation on the Robotics team more accessible to more families in Nunez’s service area. Spots on the team are available now.

The fledgling Robotics program at Nunez Community College in Chalmette is expanding thanks to a generous grant from the Meraux Foundation.  

The STEAM Division (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) at Nunez fielded its first Robotics Team to compete in the First Lego League Competition in 2021. The program introduces elementary and middle school students, ages 9-14, to the concepts of robotics, engineering, coding, electronics, and more through building various Lego robots and programming them to accomplish assigned tasks.  

The team, led by Nunez STEAM Director Dr. Julie Rexford, has already tasted success, earning First Place in the Core Values category in a field of 45 teams during the 2021-22 statewide competition.  

Thanks to the $4,900 grant from the Meraux Foundation, the Nunez Robotics Program has lowered the cost for participation, which will make the program accessible to more families In Nunez’s service area.

“The Nunez Robotics Competition Teams are very thankful to the Meraux Foundation for their support. This contribution will help our teams provide the materials and supplies needed to compete in the First Lego League Competitions,” said Dr. Rexford. “First Lego League introduces science, technology, engineering, and math to children in fourth through eighth grade through fun, exciting hands-on learning. Students gain real-world problem-solving and critical thinking experiences that build skills for the future.“  

“In the spirit of our founder Arlene Meraux, who was a tireless champion of education, we are honored to support the Nunez Robotics team and enable more students to participate,” said Bill Haines, a board member of the Meraux Foundation. “Today’s donation reflects our commitment to enhancing education in St. Bernard Parish. By investing in these young innovators, we are not only fueling their dreams but also nurturing a brighter future for our community.” 

Nunez Robotics has already fielded two teams for the 2023-24 First Lego League season, but several spots remain available on both teams. The qualifying tournament for the statewide competition takes place in December, with the statewide competition following in January in New Orleans. Interested families may reach out to Dr. Rexford at for more details.