What began as a happen-chance meetup in March 2012 of our President & CEO Tad Deriso and the Piedmont Governor’s School STAGS 1262 at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Midlothian, Virginia has transformed into a partnership between MBC and FRC teams in Southern Virginia.
Since 2012, we have been dedicated to supporting FRC robotics teams in Southern Virginia. As an economic driver in the region, MBC is a strong advocate for the vision of workforce development and education in STEM-related fields. The skills that the FIRST FRC program teaches are highly desirable to companies and strengthen the workforce in Southern Virginia.
Students participating in the FRC program are challenged in multiple fields, including electronics, programming, pneumatics, business/marketing, etc., presenting challenges that give students the opportunity to expand their minds to create new solutions by becoming better thinkers and problem solvers. FIRST programs also teach practical life lessons beyond the technical realm, like communication skills and teamwork, by providing the opportunity to work together with their teammates and with teams that they have not previously met to achieve a common goal.
When we first began supporting teams in our footprint, there were five FRC teams in Southern Virginia. Now there are eleven robotics teams in Southern Virginia made possible by an incentive for new teams to start up, an effort initiated to bolster the STEM education opportunities for students in the region.
MBC realizes the value that FIRST brings both to the students participating and the community as a whole and has proudly invested more than $276,000 for FIRST FRC robotics programs since 2012.
The 2017 FRC game was FIRST Stronghold. Click play on the video below to watch a match from the 2017 season (featuring MBC-sponsored teams 1262, 3258, and 5950).
MBC is committed to providing economic development leadership to Southern Virginia by operating nearly 2,000 miles of open-access fiber optic network, providing wholesale telecommunications transport, dark fiber and colocation services. With presence in major internet peering exchange points, MBC reduces the cost of Internet access for wholesale customers and reduces the time and cost to reach customers in rural Virginia markets. MBC’s network supports job creation as a critical element in the recruitment of major commercial investments.