Afghan girls robotics team competes after visa obstacles

Afghan girls robotics team competes after visa obstacles

July 17th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Science

Afghanistan team member Somaya Faryuqi, right, has the flag of Afghanistan drawn on her cheek prior to the opening ceremony for the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. They will be competing against entrants from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It’s the first annual robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A robotics team of six girls from Afghanistan is competing in an international competition in Washington, after clearing visa obstacles that prompted intervention from President Donald Trump.

The team's ball-sorting robot played in its first game on Monday morning.

The team is competing against teams from more than 150 countries in the FIRST Global Challenge. It's a robotics competition designed to encourage youths to pursue careers in math and science.

Like other robots in the competition, the girls' robot can recognize blue and orange and sort balls into correct locations.

The team was twice rejected for U.S. visas. They arrived in Washington from their hometown of Herat, Afghanistan, early Saturday after Trump's last-minute intervention to sidestep the visa system.


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