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South Boston, VA – April 21, 2014 – This March, the five MBC-sponsored FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams took to the arena to show off their robots at regional FRC tournaments.  The Chatham High RoboCavs, G.W. High Team Talon, Martinsville High MADawgs, and Piedmont Governor’s School STAGS competed at the Virginia Regional held March 20th-22nd at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center in Richmond, VA against a field of 65 teams.  Skrappy’s Zoo, the Bluestone High team, competed in Raleigh, NC at the Dorton Arena where 54 teams vied for the title at the North Carolina Regional, held March 13th-15th.

The teams had just a six week period to construct their robots, which was made even shorter this year due to school closings resulting from this year’s abundance of wintery weather. This year’s challenge was AERIAL ASSISTSM, where the teams have two and a half minutes to score as many balls in the goals as possible.  Points could be scored by pushing the ball into goals on the ground, shooting the ball into a high goal above the operators’ stations, or shooting the ball over a trestle located above the middle line on the playing field.  Teamwork was paramount in this game, as the alliances made up of three teams could score bonus points by assisting the other teams in the alliance score a goal.

Skrappy’s Zoo, the STAGS, and Team Talon all achieved quarterfinalist status, making it to the elimination rounds of their respective tournaments.  Pictures from these two events can be seen on the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Facebook page.

MBC commends all five of these teams – students, coaches, and volunteers – for the ample hours of hard work and dedication that it takes to transform diverse components into a robot that performs in the arena.  MBC sponsors the FIRST FRC teams in the MBC footprint as a way to support workforce preparation in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education, which is a vital component of economic revitalization.