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1262 and 5279 FRC World Post

Two MBC-Sponsored FRC Robotics Teams Advance to FIRST FRC World Championship
STAGS and Bionic Eagles will compete in St. Louis April 27-30

South Boston, VA – April 13, 2016 – Two FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams sponsored by Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC) have qualified for the FIRST FRC World Championship after competing at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship in College Park, Maryland. The Piedmont Governor’s School STAGS and the Altavista Bionic Eagles are headed to St. Louis, Missouri at the end of this month to compete for the FRC World Championship title.

The Piedmont Governor’s School STAGS are currently in their thirteenth season and are based in Martinsville, Virginia.  In the 2016 season, this veteran team finished in second place as a District Event Finalist at the Southwest Virginia Event in Blacksburg, Virginia, received the Imagery Award at the Hampton Roads Event in Portsmouth, Virginia, and finished in second place as a District Championship Finalist at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship held at the University of Maryland.  The STAGS are led by Mr. Brian Pace, Director of Piedmont Governor’s School for Science, Mathematics, and Technology.

The Altavista High Bionic Eagles are in their third season and are based in Altavista, Virginia.  In the 2016 season, the Bionic Eagles received the Excellence in Engineering Award at the Southwest Virginia Event in Blacksburg, Virginia, finished in first place as a District Event Winner and received the Industrial Design Award at the Central Virginia Event in Doswell, Virginia, and received the Quality Award at the FIRST Chesapeake District Championship held at the University of Maryland.  The Bionic Eagles are led by Ms. Cindy Watson, a biology instructor at Altavista Combined School.

Students participating in the FRC 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 by becoming better thinkers and problem solvers. Teams have six weeks to design, build, code, and test a robot that executes the task that was presented to them for competition.

MBC is a strong advocate for the vision of workforce development in STEM-related fields, as these skills are highly desirable to companies and strengthen the workforce in Southern Virginia.  The success of these teams is a testament to the high quality skills possessed by the students, teachers, and industry mentors in Southern Virginia.

The STAGS and the Bionic Eagles will be a part of an international field at the FRC World Championship in St. Louis.  Hundreds of teams from across the globe will be represented, each vying to reveal who is the best of the best in the realm of FRC robotics.

“We are thrilled about the advancement of the STAGS and Bionic Eagles to the FRC World Championship competition,” said Tad Deriso, President and CEO of Mid-Atlantic Broadband.  “Their hard work, determination, willingness and excitement to learn new skills, and knowledge of how to thrive under pressure will serve them well at this competition and in all aspects of life.  We wish these Southern Virginia teams the best of luck at the championship event in St. Louis.”

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


Media Contact
Liz Smith, Mid-Atlantic Broadband
(434) 570-1312