Neil Penning has spent countless hours volunteering, building, and teaching in science classrooms across the county. A full-time student at Peachtree Ridge, his plate was already full but as a dedicated leader and engineer, there was always room for more. As a sophomore, Penning planned to create a robotics team from scratch with the help of fellow peers and mentors including software engineer Brian Carlson.
Throughout the past few months and the beginning of junior-year, Penning has not only created Ignite Robotics, a FIRST robotics team, but also has the only community team and one of the most diverse in Gwinnett County. He left his own high school’s team in hopes of “giving great opportunities to those interested in robotics but were limited in their own school or unable to join another team.”
As president of Ignite Robotics, there are several responsibilities. “I have to manage time wisely, delegate tasks, and use my communication skills to recruit new members and speak to other teams and the community.”
Penning also teaches CAD (computer-aided design) and has written over $8,000 in grants. He is quickly on the way to triple that number. Due to all this needed work, Penning says that there is little to no time for anything outside of robotics and must focus solely on his team. This is especially true due to the upcoming competitive season in October.
Penning wants to witness his student-driven team do well this season and would like to thank the mentors and parents of his equally dedicated and passionate team members. Penning can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org for further questions and inquiries.