First Ever Robotics Competition Held in Pohnpei, FSM

Students robotics clubs from six high schools across Pohnpei State gathered on May 1st for the Micronesian Capital's first-ever Robo Day. Each team fielded a robot that they built, programmed and customized to compete on a customized course. Drivers raced their robots through timed rounds, battling to gain points by pushing, dropping, and throwing tennis balls into the other teams’ side of the court.

Students, teachers, principals and community members gathered to cheer on the students in the Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School gymnasium, enthusiastically clapping and cheering for a point earned, or a strategic movement of the robots.

After the dust settled on preliminary rounds, semifinals, and a nail-biting tie in the finals, Nanpei Memorial High School emerged as the Pohnpei Robo Day Champions. The newly-minted champions went home with a trophy and a First-Place banner to display in their school. Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School’s team clinched the second-place win, with Pohnpei Island Central School earring third.

Habele Robotics Competition Pohnpei FSM 2019.jpg

Even as students packed up their robots after a long day of competition, the expectation for another chance to exhibit their skills was evident, with many asking when they would get to test their abilities against teams from other Micronesian states.

Prior to this year, robotics was unknown by these students. Through a partnership with the Office of Insular Affairs, "Habele" provided equipment, training and support for the new Pohnpei Robo League. Initially developed in Yap, the Habele Robo league now includes students in Chuuk as well as Pohnpei, serving three of the four FSM States.

“We are incredibly proud of the students,” says Matt Coleman, Executive Director of Habele. “They are mastering the technologies of the future; and doing it with excitement and a hunger for more. It’s a privilege to be partnering with them. We can’t wait to see students in Kosrae enjoying the same opportunities.”

Participating clubs will continue to pursue a deeper understanding of the technology, as well as strengthening partnerships with peers at other schools. Bonds between Robo Clubs in neighboring states continue to develop.  Already this year, a team of student instructors from Yap traveled to Chuuk and Pohnpei states to help coach their peers in preparation for their first Robo Day competitions.

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


Habele is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of educational opportunities in the remote islands and atolls of Micronesia, an impoverished former American trust territory in the Central Pacific.

We provide support to low-income students
across Micronesia. Programs include K-12 tuition scholarships for students attending non-public schools, donations of books to public schools and libraries, development of local language materials, and the organization and support of after school clubs. Special emphasis is placed on support of students from the most remote outer islands of Micronesia.

The simplest way you can help is to make a donation to Habele. If you prefer to gather supplies such as books, we can either forward them to the schools we work with or provide you with points of contacts for direct mailing. Finally, if you can lend your time and talent to Habele, you will help us in our aim to keep administrative costs as low as possible.

Habele is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Talk to your tax preparer to learn how your gift can serve as a valuable tax deduction.

Thank you and enjoy your visit!