Robotics training a first for students on Kosrae

High school students on the tiny Micronesian island of Kosrae are teaming up with experts to get hands-on experience with technologies of the future. Equipped with the latest in competitive robotics equipment, new robotics clubs at Kosrae High School are enjoying a mix of classroom instruction and hands on learning, exploring math and science concepts that run much of the modern world.

For many students across the Freely Associated States, access to advanced STEM instruction is extremely limited. The Habele Robo League provides a unique vehicle to Micronesian high schools looking to expand the technical preparedness of students. Kosrae recently joined the other three FSM states participating in the Robo League, thanks to Habele’s partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Insular Affairs. Vice President Yosiwo George has been an outspoken supporter of expanding the Robo League to include students in his home state.


Habele Robotics League adds 23rd Micronesian High School

Madolenihmw High School has joined the Pohnpei Robo League, making it the 23rd high school in Micronesia to offer students the chance to design, build, and compete robots on their own, and in partnership with other high school teams.

Located in Pohnlangas, Madolenihmw High School (MHS) serves students in the central east of Pophnei island, to the east of Mount Nahna Laud and south of Mount Kapwuriso. NHS is also the high school closest to the ruins of Nan Madol, a series of megalithic monuments on nearly 100 artificial islets on a coral reef offshore.


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).