Written by: John Hanebuth
From June 22-July 2, 11 students from Chuuk High School’s 11th grade made the journey to attend Clemson University’s Youth Learning Institute located in Clemson, South Carolina. While there, these students participated in Clemson’s renowned “Future Scholars” program. During the course of this program, the students took classes from University Professors, attended workshops on new innovations in a variety of academic fields, and participated in workshops tailor built to improve public speaking and writing. Students were also exposed to robotics, American antebellum history, Auto Engineering at the world famous ICAR, where Clemson Auto engineers work on the newest advancements in automobile technology. Students also had the opportunity to simulate medical procedures at the University’s Healthcare Simulation Center, where the University trains its medical students and nurses.
In addition to the eye opening experiences and the use of advanced university facilities, the students had the opportunity to explore new technology in the classroom as they used 3D printers, video editing, sound editing, and circuitry. In one session the participants built circuits of their own to aid in the construction of a robot, to which they were able to teach commands and directional movement.
Following a class on technology, the students were taken to their first American bowling alley where they all had fun. During another afternoon everyone ventured into the countryside for a hike to the Issaqueena falls, where our Chuukese students learned about biodiversity in a South Carolinian ecosystem and the differences between regions of the United States. To finish off a weekend of fun and outdoor activities a baseball game was witnessed live.
Over the course of the next week, students attended classes to improve their writing and public speaking abilities. These classes culminated in a presentation given to program staff by four select students about what they had gained from this experience and their future plans to help better the islands of Chuuk.
Altogether students had an eye opening experience, which has inspired some to pursue different career paths, pursue higher education at the best possible schools they can attend, and ultimately provide for a better future for Chuuk. Chuuk High School is planning on expanding this program for both a Fall and Spring Session and is hoping that other High Schools in the FSM join to make the program even better.