Robotics Kits Arrive in Yap, Remote Island of Stone Money

Yap Catholic High School Student opening their third box of robotics parts

Students on Micronesia's famously traditional Island of Stone Money have begun to design and assemble hi-tech programmable robots.

Robotics clubs at five high schools in Yap received VEX Classroom and Competition Mechatronics kits earlier this month, kicking off expansion of the popular Yap Robo League.

Using the raw parts, students will design, build, and code robots to compete in a statewide STEM exhibition and robotics competition in May. Yap’s Robo League was established in 2011 by the US-based nonprofit “Habele,” and is now expanding across that state through a pilot grant award by the Office of Insular Affairs.


Yap Canoe Festival set for December 2017

Waa'gey Carvers begin work on a new canoe in Colonia, November 2017

Celebrating the rich heritage of traditional seafaring in the Pacific region of Micronesia, the Yap Visitors Bureau, in partnership with the Yap Traditional Navigation Society, has announced that the 8th annual Yap Canoe Festival will be held December 8 & 9, 2017 in Colonia.

The two days of festivities will take place at the Yap Living History Museum and will include a parade of traditional sailing canoes, dances, skills demonstrations and a marketplace offering food and handicrafts for sale.

Micronesian scholar and filmmaker Dr. Eric Metzgar will provide the keynote address and present his video, A Voyaging Odyssey, featuring highlights from the 2010 ocean voyages captained by Pwo Master Navigator Ali Haleyalur and Master Canoe Carver Chief Bruno Tharngan. The ocean crossings “rediscovered” the ancient, traditional sea routes between the islands of Lamotrek, Guam, Yap and Palau.


Parents, Educators, & Leaders talk Robots in Yap

Three students from Yap represented the Federated States of Micronesia at an international robotics competition in Washington DC this summer. One of nearly two hundred national and regional teams competing, the Micronesian students bested seasoned squads from developed nations including the United States and France.

Now there is talk of expanding the modest “Yap Robo League,” allowing more island students the opportunity to engage in robotics through high school based clubs and classes in the remote Western Pacific.


Micronesia Students Proudly Compete in Robotics "Olympics"

Three students from Yap State proudly represented the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) at an international high school robotics competition this July in Washington DC.

Natasha Loochaz, John Steven Gilinug, and Francis Yarofalyango, comprised Team Micronesia, and joined students from over 150 other nations at the event.

Over several months each team designed, built, and programmed, their own complex robot based on the same simple parts kit, bringing the robots to the FIRST Global Challenge in DC for the matches and exhibition. In the arena, robots were organized into teams of three, battling to quickly gather and sort plastic balls representing clean water and contaminated water.


Private Scholarships Offer Micronesians Access to Opportunity

School Choice Freely Associated States Micronesia Marshall Palau

(Colonia, Yap) A dozen Micronesian students are headed to prestigious private schools this fall, thanks to Habele K-12 tuition scholarships. These students will attend the independent school of their family’s choosing.

Described as “an investment in human capital,” these grants are funded by donations from former Peace Corps Volunteers, tourists, and other Americans with a personal connection to Micronesia.


Advanced Science, Robotics, Showcased by Island Students

Students recount science studies at the high school STEM exhibition on Yap, Micronesia 

Elaborate cultural dances and seafaring canoes have made the Islands of Yap famous, but this month it was the ultra-advanced Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math skills of local students on display.

An annual competition and exhibition organized by Yap Catholic High School drew nearly 200 community members who came to watch and support 70 high school student participants.


Micronesian canoe reassembly highlights interwoven FSM-US ties

Reprinted with permission from the Kaselehlie Press

Micronesian citizens living in Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, gathered in South Carolina in mid-May to reassemble a traditional paddling canoe. The boat was crafted in Yap and serves as a symbol of the interwoven history of the American and Micronesian Peoples.