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MVCC to lead FIRST Tech Challenge as regional partner

By Eric Reinhardt (


UTICA, N.Y. — Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) has partnered with FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology) to lead the organization’s youth robotics competitions, camps, and programming in the New York-Excelsior region.

That region represents teams in all of New York state, excluding Long Island and New York City.

FIRST is a Manchester, New Hampshire–based nonprofit that works to “inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology,” per an MVCC news release.

The partnership with FIRST is a “natural fit” for MVCC. The school says it has served as a host site for FIRST LEGO League tournaments and has seen “first-hand the inspirational power” of FIRST.

MVCC has also supported FIRST by providing robotics teams with access to the college’s engineering faculty, along with facilities with the “additive and subtractive manufacturing capacity needed to assist” during robot builds.

The partnership also introduces MVCC’s engineering programs to students in local high schools and provides a starting point and a clear path to a bachelor’s degree or career.

“MVCC is pleased to continue to support local youth programs, especially those that provide hands-on engineering, science, and technology practice,” Randall J. VanWagoner, president of MVCC, said. “The FIRST Tech Challenge will deliver invaluable experience as these youth continue on their educational adventures in STEM.”

SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, which served as FIRST’s regional partner for 15 years, is “honored” to have been part of the initiative to foster STEM interest and innovation in thousands of students and teachers, and “looks forward to working with MVCC on FIRST events in various capacities,” per the MVCC release.


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