MAGIC and the power of gigabit Internet
Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC) is a local non-profit in Westminster, MD. MAGIC is dedicated to making sure the economic development potential of the Westminster Fiber Network (WFN) is fully realized.
What does it mean for the potential of fiber infrastructure to be realized? We got the chance to catch up with Amy Rupp, Executive Director of MAGIC who walked us through all of MAGIC’s initiatives for seeing the power of gigabit Internet through and bringing the positive impact of fiber to the local economy, jobs, education, healthcare and so much more.
But first, a bit about MAGIC and Ting
Ting has been involved with MAGIC from the start. In fact, early MAGIC leaders and board members Robert Wack (Arcus Solutions) and Jason Stambaugh (ISF Services) recruited Ting City Manager Valerie Giovagnoni to help them form a non-profit devoted to technological economic development.
Their vision came alive in MAGIC, and today, the non-profit facilitates various “collaboratories” year round. MAGIC collaboratories are physical, virtual and temporary spaces where students, techies, artists, creatives, scholars, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders work together to solve complex problems.
Ting is a community partner in the conception, ongoing support and evolution of these collaboratories, providing volunteers, free gigabit service and meeting space.
MAGIC Tech Experiences
A huge part of MAGIC’s collaboratory programming includes their Tech Experiences. Tech Experiences are for students, youth and learners with little to no tech experience, aiming to engage new and emerging talent in tech.
“Our first student event was a cybersecurity competition, our first Capture the Flag (CTF), held in the Ting Makerspace in April 2016, and it’s been nothing but rapid growth since,” said Rupp.
From 2016 to 2018, MAGIC worked with more than 300 students in events like their Capture The Flag ethical hacking cybersecurity competitions and their annual Hackathon where students design, build and pitch an application. These events prepare the workforce for future careers in tech and cybersecurity.
“This is where innovation happens and the entrepreneurial spirit thrives. We turn fiber into jobs, companies and new investment.”
Ting participates in these Tech Experiences, lending expertise in the form of mentorship.
“Russ Schauermann, Fiber Technician at Ting, volunteered as a mentor and he will be helping as a coach at our upcoming Capture the Flag cybersecurity competition. Having Russ share his expertise and excitement for technology truly helped to inspire students at the Hackathon.”
Ting is also a sponsor of Capture the Flag events. These events focus on workforce development and preparing students for careers in technology in the community. The Ting Makerspace has also served as an events space for MAGIC’s Hack and Sip event. The event aims to spread the word about MAGIC while guests interact with the Makerspace tech over snacks and wine.
MAGIC Medical Smart Homes
Beyond Tech Experiences for youth and techies, MAGIC also creates Innovation Laboratory opportunities to leverage Westminster’s broadband infrastructure.
One such laboratory is the MAGIC Medical Smart Home Project. The project uses a variety of connected technologies homes to gather and provide medical monitoring and analysis for residents, adults with intellectual disabilities.
“Ting is providing gigabit Internet service to MAGIC’s two Smart Homes. When this project has fully matured it will put the power of the gigabit to good use as we will have a need to move large quantities of data very quickly.”
Harnessing the power of fiber
These are only a few of the ways Ting and MAGIC are working together to realize the power of fiber Internet infrastructure in Westminster. Check out MAGIC’s website for more information on the work they do in the community.
Ting is dedicated to MAGIC’s mission. Our goal is to be a platform for innovation, so people can use the latest tools and tech to build their businesses, contribute to the local economy, and create new ways to use tech.