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Mid-Atlantic Broadband Promotes STEM Learning Through Robotics Sponsorships
MBC sponsors 11 FRC teams in Southern Virginia

South Boston, VA. – November 23, 2015 – Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is proud to announce their commitment to sponsor the eleven FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams in Southern Virginia for the 2015-16 season.  MBC is honored for the opportunity to partner with, for a fourth year, the Virginia-based affiliate of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an international non-profit mentoring organization that promotes a similar vision for students that are drawn to science and technology.  Countless students, teachers, and volunteers have pledged their time and talents to this program in their workshops and ultimately in the arena, becoming leaders in a modern approach for the cultivation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based academics in a high school setting.

Southern Virginia is home to five veteran FRC teams.  The Martinsville High MADawgs, G.W. High Team Talon (City of Danville), Altavista High Bionic Eagles, Bluestone High Skrappy’s Zoo (Mecklenburg County), and Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, & Technology STAGS (City of Martinsville) are the five veteran FRC teams to benefit from the annual $6,000 per team donation given by Mid-Atlantic Broadband.  With this donation, the teams are able to purchase the FRC kit that is required each year for competition and are able to register for two district events in the FIRST Chesapeake District, which brings together teams from Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

This year, six new teams from Southern Virginia are debuting in the FRC arena.  The Central High Portable Chargers (Lunenburg County), Tunstall High Trojans (Pittsylvania County), Cumberland High Gold Dukes, Sussex Central High Team T.I.G.E.R.S, and Amelia County High Cyber Raiders will all be tackling the FRC challenge for the very first time.  The Halifax County High Cometbots have made previous appearances in FRC competition, but have not fielded an FRC team in recent years.  Each of these teams received $6,000 to help cover the yearly expenses of competing as an FRC team.  MBC is also providing a challenge grant that will match each new team’s fundraising contributions dollar for dollar up to $4,000 per team.

Students participating in this program are challenged in multiple fields, including electronics, programming, pneumatics, business/marketing, etc.  Each year, a new game is presented to the teams, giving these students the opportunity to expand their minds to create new solutions to the challenge that lies before them. Teams will be introduced to the 2016 challenge on January 9th and will have six weeks to design, build, code, and test a robot that executes the task that was presented to them for competition.

Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics, wished “to transform our culture by creating a world where science and technology are celebrated and where young people dream of becoming science and technology leaders” when he founded the program.  Mid-Atlantic Broadband continues to be an advocate for this vision of workforce development in STEM-related fields, as these skills are highly desirable to companies and strengthen the workforce in Southern Virginia.

About Mid-Atlantic Broadband

Mid-Atlantic Broadband Communities Corporation (MBC) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization, committed to bridging the digital divide, promoting economic development, reducing the burdens of government and reinvesting in communities. MBC accomplishes this by operating an advanced open access fiber optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport services, colocation and tower leasing. Since its inception in 2004 and by offering a state-of-the-art fiber optic network, MBC has supported the recruitment of major investments to southern Virginia including data centers, call center/operations centers, advanced manufacturing, research and development, and bio-tech industries. For more information, visit www.mbc-va.com.