After first gaining fame in the summer of 2017, the Afghan Girls Robotic Team continues to wow the world following an incredible international tour. The most recent success for the team of six young women was in Ontario, Canada, where they were honored with the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Award.
The three day FIRST event was attended by over 250 teams, welcoming 7500 students to compete in a worldwide robotics competition dedicated to supporting youth engagement with science and technology. First Robotics Canada prides itself on the values of ‘equity, diversity and inclusion’ and was honored to welcome the Afghan Girls to the event.
Their success in Ontario follows a long line of victories within the past year, with the team winning recognition in New Mexico and The Netherlands. Most noted has been their participation in Europe’s largest robotics event, where they competed against 3700 teams to win The Entrepreneurial Award, which rewards innovative solutions to real-world challenges. Director of Education, Abdul Rahman Ahmadi congratulated ‘positive impact’ and applauds their continued role in ‘encouraging other girls’ to pursue careers in STEM fields.
The team first drew attention early in 2017, when their Visas to the US were twice denied ahead of the FIRST Global Challenge. Feminist protests successfully put public pressure on the Department of Homeland Security to issue humanitarian paroles that allowed the girls to enter the country to compete. At the competition, the girls were awarded the silver medal for “courageous achievement” for a robot they built in only two weeks due to the fact that their package of supplies was detained at the airport.
Media Resources: Feminist Majority Foundation 1/12/18; Tolonews 5/17/18; Tolonews 8/23/18; First Robotics