Robotics Teams on Yap Roll Forward

The February issue of Robot Magazine details the progress of robotics clubs at Yap Catholic High School and the SDA School in Yap, Micronesia.

The article explains how Yap State’s two private high schools have announced an innovative new pro- gram to serve students with an interest in math and computers. The schools, Yap SDA and Yap Catholic, are each establishing robotics teams for their pupils. These student teams, with support from teachers and other school staffers, will design, build and operate basic robots. Both teams have been equipped with classroom robotics kits from VEX Robotics.

The Habele Outer Island Education Fund donated the kits along with teacher guides and the equipment required for using desktop computers to program the robots.

A prominent VEX Robotics team based at the Chaminade College Preparatory high school in West Hills, California, Eagle Engineering Team #1138, is at the root of this story.

In 2008, Eagle Engineering began sending textbooks from all academic disciplines to Micronesia to help build up resources for two new high schools. Eagle Engineering sent the texts to Father Corcoran, director and principal Yap Catholic high school on the island of Yap. Corcoran used the texts to build libraries for the school and shared the donations with other public and private schools in Yap State.. The book program was launched by former Chaminade student Amelia Weiss, a team alumni who is now at the University of California, Berkeley majoring in marine biology and engineering.

In the last year, Eagle Engineering began creating instructional videos for the Micronesian students, as well. These videos cover robotics basics, programming and more. In recent months, the team sent two VEX Robotics Starter Kits to the students, as well as a VEX game playing field and game elements. From the beginning, the Habele Outer Island Education Fund, a philanthropic foundation, provided funding for Eagle Engineering to make this outreach possible.