Pelton Community Primary School

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Pelton Piranhas 2023-2024

On Monday 15th January 2024, our Year 5 and 6 robotics after-school club team, ‘Pelton Piranhas’ had an incredible day at Nissan competing in the VEXher teams, trying to score as many points as possible! They ranked 5th place at the end of the teamwork matches. Then during the final matches, Pelton Piranhas were scheduled to play with Newbottle Primary School. Whilst the other matches were underway, drivers from both schools worked hard practising and creating a strategy. Their dedication paid off, as they scored an impressive 71 points in their final match, the highest score! This meant that they were first place…the teamwork challenge champions! Coming first place in the teamwork challenge has qualified the team for the UK National Championships in Telford in March.

To add to their successes, during the awards ceremony, the Pelton Piranhas were awarded with the award for ‘Excellence’. ‘The Excellence Award is the highest award presented in the VEX IQ Challenge. This award is presented to a team that exemplifies overall excellence in creating a high quality VEX robotics program.’ This award is based on the robot’s overall performance and from children’s discussions with the judges.

We are so incredibly proud of the team and all that they have achieved so far. Please wish us luck for the national competition!

VEX IQ UK Nationals 2024 - Full Volume

The Pelton Piranhas have had an amazing two days at the ‘Full Volume’ UK National Championship.
During ‘Skills’ the team scored and impressive 68 points for driving and an amazing 20 points for coding. Totalling 88 points this ranked the team 9th place in the UK!
Over the two days, the drivers played 12 qualification matches. Our average score was 76.44 points which ranked us 8th place. For the final match we collaborated with ‘Robot Rapids’ from StrichenSchool Strichen in Keith, Aberdeen. In a very tense final game, we scored an impressive 81 points, this means we came 3rd place in the teamwork challenge.
🌟 Well done Pelton Piranhas! 🌟
Thank you once again to the wonderful Reece Foundation for making the trip possible!

Pelton Piranhas 2022-2023

Let us introduce ourselves… we are the Pelton Piranhas – a team of Year 5/6 pupils who were tasked with designing and building a VEX IQ robot to play the game ‘Slapshot’.  We initially worked after school in order to practice advanced coding, bot driving and overall team management. We attended the National Championships and  ranked 4th in the UK, which then qualified us for the World Robotics Championships in Dallas! It has been an amazing journey and we are so very proud of what we have achieved!

Please read our blogs below to find out about our exciting adventure!

Video Highlights

🤖 Click the link to watch the video of the Pelton Piranhas in action in Dallas 🇺🇸

Sightseeing around Dallas

Not only did the Pelton Piranhas have an incredible experience at the VEX IQ World Championship, but on the days before and after the competition, they were lucky enough to explore some of the sights of Dallas and the surrounding area.

We travelled on the M-line around Dallas uptown area.
We visited Perot Museum of Science and explored all of their exhibits including the World of Pixar. It was amazing to see the different stages in making an animation! We also watched a 3D film about how there used to be dinosaurs in Antarctica!

We visited the JFK memorial in downtown Dallas and learned about the assassination of President Kennedy.

We visited Fort Worth cowboy town. We watched the cattle drive down the Main Street, we sat on a Texas longhorn and explored all of the cowboy shops and restaurants.

We were lucky enough to have some time in our hotel swimming pool! The team loved swimming and splashing around!

We visited Dallas World Aquarium where we saw sloths, penguins, birds, fish, frogs, lizards, snakes and even axolotls!


VEX World Championships in Dallas

Day 3 Round-Up

👫 Teamwork Challenge Matches – our top scores of the competition!

8️⃣ Playing with a team from Alabama – 131 points
9️⃣ Playing with a team from Florida – 93 points
🔟 Playing with a team from Oklahoma – 121 points
🏆 We ended our division, the Engineering Division, in 70th place out of 76 teams. We’re so proud of our achievements on this global stage!
💻 Coding Skills – our coders had some time to perfect their code to release the blue and yellow dispensers. Unfortunately due to the queues at skills and our match times, the coders were unable to run the program to earn the points.
🎉 Closing ceremony – we watched the top teams from from each division play in the final matches. The scores were incredible and the atmosphere in t
👫 Teamwork Challenge Matches
🤖 1 – Playing with a team from Ireland – 50 points
🤖 2 – Playing with a team from Arizona – 62 points
🤖 3 – Playing with a team from Nevada – 30 points
🤖 4 – Playing with a team from Michigan -89 points
🤖 5 – Playing with a team from Indiana – 99 points
🤖 6 – Playing with a team from South Dakota – 78 points
🤖 7 – Playing with a team from California – 99 points
🎮 Driver Skills
1️⃣ 33 points
2️⃣ 42 points
3️⃣ 35 points
🛠️ Some of the team made some minor modifications to the front of the robot to make it easier to push discs under the bar.
🎮 Some of the team found a drone challenge and had a turn!
❤️ We arrived at the convention centre in Dallas and set up our pit area!
🇰🇿 During the opening ceremony, we met players and coaches from around the world! Miss Smith and Mrs Laws made friends with some coaches from Kazakhstan.
🇬🇧 Two of our team took part in the Parade of Nations and paraded onto the stage with representatives from the other UK teams.
🤖 Our robot was officially inspected to ensure it complies with all the VEX IQ game rules.
🌍 After that, we went around the pit areas meeting different teams. We chatted to them and collected swag!
😊 We had a super day and we’re looking forward to day 2!


Press and Fundraising

If you missed the Pelton Piranhas live on ITV last night…follow this link to see us in action! 
Highlights from our interview with BBC Radio Newcastle this morning. 
 Our article in the Northern Echo. 

National Championships

Our Year 5/6 VEX IQ Team had a fantastic time at the National Championships in Telford this Sunday and Monday where 18 qualifying primary school teams from across the country met for the UK finals. Over the two days, the team played in 11 teamwork challenge matches, gaining an average score of 70 points. This score ensured the team a place in the second off last match in the final elimination round. In this final round, working collaboratively with another team, we scored 75 points which gained us the “2nd Place Teamwork Challenge Award”. Receiving this award and being ranked 4th in the UK has meant that we have qualified for and been invited to the VEX IQ World Championships in Dallas in May 2023. We are super excited and currently in the planning stages for this trip. Another section of the competition are the Skills Challenges where we work on our own to score as many points as we can. For driver skills we earned 49 points and through coding the robot alone we scored 27 points. Totalling 76 points, this ranked us in 10th place.


The team’s success is thanks to excellent teamwork and communication skills, determination, resilience and dedication. We are extremely proud of their achievements.

The trip was kindly funded by Northumbrian Water and our local MP Kevan Jones. The VEX IQ kit and competitions are sponsored by the Nissan Skills Foundation and the Reece Foundation. Thank you to those involved for their support. Coming 2nd place in the Skills and Teamwork Challenge at the regional competition in January secured our place at the National Championships.


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