$830k Interior grant for FSM includes funding for robotics

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Habele Fund Robo League participants (From Habele Fund's Facebook page)

Around $830,000 in grants will be made available to the Federated States of Micronesia for fiscal year 2019, according to The U.S. Department of the Interior-Office of Insular Affairs. The grant includes an appropriation for a STEM (Science Technology Engineering  and Mathematics) project focusing on robotics training for FSM students.

The department allocated more than $240,492 for the Habele – Robo League initiative to support student robotics teams at 23 public and private high schools across FSM. In the federated states, at least 450 students are participating in weekly activities focusing on the design and building of robots.

The 2019 funding will expand the program to include isolated schools on outer atolls in the FSM and Kosrae State.

Majority of the Interior funds – around $546,354 – will be used to enhance the FSM government’s auditing process. The funding will be given to the FSM National Public Auditor’s Office, Pohnpei State Public Auditor’s Office, and Yap State Office of the Public Auditor.

The funding will be used to purchase audit software with a goal of connecting the four state audit offices to the FSM national office. Grant moneys will also be used for capacity building and professional development activities. 

Doug Domenech, U.S. Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary, Insular and International Affairs said, “Oversight and accountability are essential for any government to be fiscally sound, and we are glad to see the FSM continue its focus on these important responsibilities.”

“In addition, we welcome the growing interest in STEM areas by students in the FSM focused on robotics training. This funding is only a small aspect of the relationship that the United States and the FSM share under the Compact of Free Association,” he added.