For years, a large building on the campus of Banning High School lay dormant – no students walking through it’s doors. That is until Sharefest sponsor Phillips 66 identified this building as a prime location for a robotics lab, and set out to create a plan to execute this vision at the 2018 Sharefest Workday on Saturday, April 28th.

The creation of this robotics lab is just a part of their ongoing commitment to Banning High School and it’s Robotics department. Earlier this year, Phillips 66 participated with Banning students who created underwater robots and displayed their work for other students and faculty. This type of forward thinking gives the Banning Pilots a competitive edge, and expands their horizons for what is possible in their futures.




Days ahead of the workday itself, Phillips 66 employees donated their time and resources to re-paint the exterior of the building. This act of generosity truly demonstrated their commitment to this cause and a quality, finished product.

“Our volunteers love to come out and really make a difference and within 4-5 hours you can see you’ve made a real change in the community,” shared Janet Grothe, public affairs manager for Phillips 66 Los Angeles Refinery. The robotics lab received new tables and cabinets, and the walls of the lab were painted with murals. “My favorite part of these murals is where it says Dreams + STEAM Education = Power,” said Janet Grothe.

“These renovations change the environment. When kids show up on Monday, they’re gonna see things that they didn’t see. It’s also a pride that they develop in themselves,” said Dr. Richard Vladovic, Board Member at Los Angeles Unified School District.

“This robotics lab in partnership with Phillips 66 is going to make a huge difference and inspire generations of students for years to come,” said Christopher Downing, Area Superintendent, Local District South, Los Angeles Unified School District.

ABC7 News Visits the Robotics Lab in Progress

Councilman Joe Buscaino Tours Workday Project Sites on Facebook Live!

“You talk about the future of work in technology and robotics, we can automate all we want but we need people to understand how to work, manage and build the robots,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino of 15th District, City of Los Angeles.

Get a glimpse of this year’s Workday accomplishments! View the photos and the 2018 Workday Video.

We are grateful to Phillips 66 for making a tremendous difference on the campus of Banning High School. We look forward to more years of partnership!