The Afghanistan team won a silver medal for "courageous achievement"
Rodaba Noori (L) Somayeh Faruqi, Kawsar Rashan and Lida Azizi, with Team Afghanistan, encourage their robot during their final round of competition, at the FIRST Global Robotics Challenge, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, in Washington. The challenge is an international robotics event with teams from over 100 countries. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin), photo: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
19 of July 2017 14:05:11
WASHINGTON – An international robotics competition in Washington attracted teams of teenagers from more than 150 nations. The team that drew the most attention at the FIRST Global Challenge, which ended Tuesday, was a squad of girls from Afghanistan who were twice rejected for U.S. visas before President Donald Trump intervened. But there were even more stories than there were teams. Here are a few:RESULTSTeams left with gold, silver and bronze medals in a variety of categories.The Europe team won a gold award for getting the most cumulative points over the course of the competition. Poland got silver and Armenia bronze. Finland won a gold award for winning the best win-loss record. Silver went to Singapore and bronze to India.There were also awards for engineering design, innovation and international unity, among others. The Afghanistan team won a silver medal for "courageous achievement." The award recognized teams that exhibited a "can-do" attitude even under difficult circumstances or when things didn't go as planned. The gold medal in that category went to the South Sudan team and bronze to the Oman team, whose students are deaf.The 2018 competition will be held in Mexico City.
The three-girl U.S. team included sisters Colleen and Katie Johnson of Everett, Washington, and Sanjna Ravichandar of Plainsboro, New Jersey. Colleen Johnson, 16, said her team looks forward "to a day when an all-girls team is going to be no more special than an all-boys team or a co-ed team, just when that's completely normal and accepted."The team competing from Brunei was also all female, though a male member previously worked on the project.WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDSThe team from Iran got some help building their robot from U.S. students. It turns out that the competition's kit of robot parts including wheels, brackets, sprockets, gears, pulleys and belts was not approved for shipment to Iran due to sanctions involving technology exports to the country. So the competition recruited a robotics team at George C. Marshall high school in Falls Church, Virginia, to help. Iran's team designed the robot, and about five Marshall students built it in the United States.The team explained on its competition webpage that "our friends in Washington made our ideas as a robot."
The letter enters the girls' story into official Congressional Record, making their journey to compete at #FGC2017 part of US history 2/2— Afghan Embassy DC (@Embassy_of_AFG) 19 de julio de 2017