Six girls from Afghanistan built a ball-sorting robot to compete against teams from 157 other countries in an international robotics competition this month. The only problem—aside from difficulties getting the materials—is that the contest is in Washington, D.C. Without offering an explanation, the U.S. Department of State denied the girls—aged 15 to 18—entry visas, Forbes reports. The robotics team ventured twice on a 500-mile journey to Kabul to be interviewed at the American Embassy, to no avail. Afghanistan and Gambia are the only two countries whose teams have been denied visas. Members of other teams, including those from Iraq, Iran, and Sudan, have been granted permission to travel.
*Correction, 17 July, 12:44 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of participating countries.