MID-ATLANTIC BROADBAND HELPS AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BREATHE LIFE INTO ROBOTS


South Boston, VA. – Nov. 21, 2012 – Mid-Atlantic Broadband (MBC) is proud to announce their commitment to sponsor the five First Robotic Competition (FRC) teams in Southern Virginia for the 2013 season. MBC is honored for the opportunity to partner with 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. The level of commitment from these students, teachers and countless volunteers is breathing life back into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) based academia.

Martinsville High School, G.W. High School, Chatham High School, Bluestone High School, and Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, & Technology house the five FRC teams to benefit from the $6,000 per team donation given by Mid-Atlantic Broadband. This generous donation helps break down the financial barrier of participating in the FIRST competitions throughout the state.

Martinsville High School’s Team MADawgs #3258 has grown from five to twenty-three students since their program began four years ago. Five adult mentors graciously give of their time and talents to this team. The team has competed every year at the Virginia Regional Tournament, held at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Seigel Center in Richmond, Virginia. Martinsville High School is located in the City of Martinsville, Virginia.

G.W. High School’s Team Talon #1598 has been competing since 2005 and this year will absorb the Galileo High School Robotics team. This team usually has 15-20 members with a low turnover rate – most members return each year. Three main adult mentors, as well as four or five others, have supported the team through its history. The team has competed in the Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Regional Tournaments, and brought home a championship from the Virginia competition in 2006. They have also competed at the World Championship event, where they were dubbed division quarter finalists one time. G.W. High School is located in the City of Danville, Virginia.

Chatham High School’s Team RoboCavs #1095 is in its sixth year of competition as a participant in the FRC program. Each of the six years, the team has competed at the Virginia Regional Tournament, three years bringing home a top 10 finish out of 63 teams. The team is made up of 13-15 students, on average, and has had five volunteer mentors since its beginning. The RoboCavs have always wanted to compete in two regional competitions and said with Mid-Atlantic Broadband’s help that it looks like they will be able to do so this year. Chatham High School is located in Chatham, Virginia in Pittsylvania County.

Bluestone High School’s Team Skrappy #1413 got its start in 2003. The team of approximately 20 students, five to seven school mentors, and five to seven mentors from the community competes annually at the North Carolina Regional at the Dorton Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have finished as high as fourth place in the regional tournament. Skrappy has competed nationally against teams as far away as Hawaii and internationally against teams from Canada and Brazil.  Last year, the President of the United States spent time with Team Skrappy during a visit to Bluestone High learning about the robot and their program. Bluestone High School is located in Skipwith, Virginia in Mecklenburg County.

Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology’s Team STAGS #1262 has been competing annually at the Virginia Regional Competition since its start ten years ago. In the past ten years, over 90 students have taken part in the program. Currently, the team has nine volunteer mentors, some of which were former members of this Robotics team who have come back to the area. The STAGS have numerous Imagery Award titles and last year won the Quality Award, were a member of the Virginia Regional Championship alliance, and advanced to the 2012 National Competition, where they competed in St. Louis, Missouri. Piedmont Governor’s School for Mathematics, Science, and Technology is located in the City of Martinsville, Virginia.

The students participating in this program are challenged in multiple arenas, including electronics, programming, pneumatics, business/marketing, etc. At Martinsville High School, this program has brought forth a new robotics class, which allows students to enrich themselves in these various components of the robotics program. So far this year, a highlighted achievement of this class was the creation of a compressed air t-shirt launcher, which is utilized at various high school sporting events. Who says STEM learning isn’t fun and exciting?!

When Dean Kamen founded the FIRST program in 1989, he hoped “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.”  Twenty-three years later, the FIRST program is still accomplishing that dream in Southern Virginia with the help of Mid-Atlantic Broadband.

About Mid-Atlantic Broadband
Mid-Atlantic Broadband has been creating connections between technology and people to revitalize communities in Southern Virginia since 2004. By delivering high speed broadband access across underserved communities, MBC opens doors for businesses to locate operations across Southern Virginia with confidence they have reliable broadband access at any capacity level. MBC operates an open-access network that enables businesses to work with the communication provider of their choice to secure diverse network access. As a non-profit entity, MBC reinvests in community programs that support the primary mission of creating jobs by attracting new businesses to the region. For more information about Mid-Atlantic Broadband, please visit www.mbc-va.com.