Afghan girls robotics team to compete after visa obstacles

Afghanistan team member Kwasar Rashan, center, walks with her teammates to line-up for the opening ceremony march of the FIRST Global Challenge 2017, in Washington, Sunday, July 16, 2017. Twice rejected for U.S. visas, the all-girls robotics team from Afghanistan arrived in Washington early Saturday after an extraordinary, last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

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

The team was the first to be introduced at an opening ceremony Sunday for the three-day high school competition.

They will compete 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.

The girls are entering a robot they made that 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.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.