Micronesia's Habele Robo League expands into Kosrae


High school students on the tiny Micronesian island of Kosrae will be building, programming and competing their own advanced robots for the first time. Located at the remote eastern end of the Federated States of Micronesia, this island of less than seven thousand inhabitants is renowned for its pristine waters and lush mountain landscape.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs, Habele is providing equipment, training and support for the formation of Kosrae’s first-ever “Kosrae Robo League.” The Habele Robotics League has collaborated with public and private schools across the FSM since 2012, beginning in Yap, and expanding to Chuuk and Pohnpei States in 2018. Now, high school students on Kosrae will join their peers across the FSM in mastering science and technology concepts in an innovative, hands-on way.


"Robo Day" Big Win for Students in Micronesia

Robo Day 2019 is in the record books for students in Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei States. After a year of training, planning, and strategizing, students from participating high schools in each of these states met to exhibit their skills in the spirit of friendly competition. For Chuuk and Pohnpei, Robo Day 2019 represented their first year of participation in the Habele Robo League. While Yap State has blazed a trail with robotics for over five years now, their Robo Day competition also saw new faces. Neighboring Islands Central High School (NICHS) from remote Woleai Atoll, and Yap International Christian School both fielded teams for the first time.


Robotics League Grows Across Micronesia

Fourteen new high schools across Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei States have been equipped and trained to participate in the Western Pacific’s only high school robotics league. Throughout December of 2018, Habele Outer Island Education Fund provided technical instruction to staff and students from public and private high schools across these three states. The training workshops began in Pohnpei, and culminated in instructional sessions on the remote Woleai Atoll in Yap State. Woleai’s Neighboring Islands Central High School represents the most isolated partner school to join the robotics league, and rounds out the list of every high school across Yap State who will field a team for the 2019 Yap Robo Day.

“Most of the students we’re training have no experience with robotics,” says Amelia Weiss, Habele’s Director of STEM. “Even without background training, these young people catch on fast, and are going to do great things."

Team members design and build their own complex robots, learning important Science, Technology, Engineering and Math skills in a hands-on way. Over the course of the coming semester, clubs will prepare to exhibit their newfound skills in “Robo Day” events, which provide an outlet for friendly competition and community interaction. Independent Robo Day competitions will be held for participants in Pohnpei, Chuuk and Yap States.

""Each participating Pohnpei High Schools has formed their respective Robotics Clubs in their schools, and are all excited with the new program, says Russell Figueras, Vice Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School. "Building their own robots was fun and easy way of understanding programming."

Formerly a program for high schools in Yap State, the Habele Robotics League expanded to include partners in Chuuk and Pohnpei with the help of a  2018 grant from the Office of Insular Affairs.


Habele Announces 2018-19 Tuition Scholarships

Eighteen students from across Micronesia will enroll in respected private schools this fall with the help of Habele tuition scholarships. Attendance at these schools dramatically increases the likelihood that these children - residents of some of the most remote communities on earth - will complete a K-12 education. 

Since 2006, Habele has partnered directly with families, schools, and local stakeholders to ensure that bright, hardworking students have access to the best education possible. These tuition scholarships are funded entirely by individuals with a deep commitment to children in underserved Micronesian communities. 

The students, whose families come from isolated islands and atolls throughout Yap and Chuuk States, have been awarded tuition assistance covering 75 percent of the cost of their 2018-19 enrollment. They will be attending top-ranked, independent K-12 schools on the islands of Yap, Chuuk and Pohnpei. Most will live with relatives or sponsors for the length of the school year.

The far-flung islands of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) are renowned for their natural beauty, as well as their strategic location in the crossroads of the Pacific. Extreme isolation and limited natural resources remain a struggle for the nation, despite decades of direct financial aid from the United States government. These huge sums have failed to translate into broad educational access  or measurable education success for most Micronesian students. In this void, Habele continues to demonstrate the real impact that comes through targeted investment with local buy-in. 

“Habele invests directly in students,” says Matt Coleman, Executive Director of Habele. “We take a lot of pride in watching them thrive academically, then graduate equipped to pursue higher education and give back to their communities.” 

In addition to the funding tuition scholarships, Habele provisions public school libraries across the FSM, supports traditional skills instructional programs, and facilitates the only high-school robotics league in the Central Pacific. 

Established by former Peace Corps volunteers, Habele is a US-based nonprofit, advancing educational access and accomplishment in Micronesian communities. 


High Tech Robots in Remote Micronesian Islands

Student achievement and the US-Micronesian partnership were on display this week in Yap, as five high schools battled it out in an elimination style robotics competition.

Yap Robo Day was the culmination of a school year long project in which student led teams designed and built robots. The League provides students at remote island schools practical experience in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).


Yap Robo Day Monday, May 21

Robots will battle on Tuesday, May 22nd Monday, May 21st at the Yap Sports Complex and the public is encouraged to attend.

“Yap Robo Day” starts at 11:00am. Student teams at five high schools have designed and built robots over the course of the year and these robots will compete in a series of elimination skirmishes to determine the statewide Yap Robo League Champion for 2018.

US based nonprofit “Habele” established the Robo League in 2012, providing materials, instruction, and US partner schools to Yap Catholic High School and the Yap SDA School. The league was the first high school based robotics program in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).

Habele trainer working with students at Yap SDA School.
Thanks to a grant from the Office of Insular Affairs, a long-standing proposal to expand the League was realized in the summer of 2017. Yap High School, Outer Islands High School, and Faith Christian Academy were invited to join the league and will be competing for their first time at Robo Day 2018.

In addition to three independent and two public high schools participating on May 21, there will be robotics teams from two corporate community partners.


Island Students Striving Toward Robotics Competition

Scale, isolation, and limited natural resources are major barriers to economic development in the many tiny islands of Micronesia.

The islands of this remote and strategically situated nation span a length nearly the distance from Los Angeles to New York across the remote Western Pacific

These challenges aren’t stopping hard ambitious students of the Yap Robo League. Students from five of Yap State’s high schools have been working to design, build, and operate complex robots constructed from simple parts, and will showcase their achievement in a public competition and science fair this May.