A Utah oil refinery donated $120,000 to West High School Monday to help beef up the Salt Lake City school’s student engineering, robotics and electronics programs.
Andeavor, which has a refinery about one mile north from the high school, gave the funds to establish a “FabLab” where students can receive Career and Technical Education or science credits, according to a written statement from the Salt Lake City School District.
The funds are primarily aimed at purchasing manufacturing equipment, including a plasma cutter and a laser engraver, that students can use to explore and solve their own design problems.
Teachers Patrick Doty and Enrique Arce-Larreta, who oversee engineering and robotics programs for the school. The money, they said, will also pay for fees associated with belonging to the school’s clubs devoted to science, technology, engineering and math, known collectively as STEM — including purchases of robotics kits.
Andeavor previously donated $80,000 to the school in 2013 to help fund STEM programs. Company spokesman Brad Shafer said the grants are intended to encourage students to pursue career paths that might lead them to work for Andeavor some day.
“They can take what they’re learning and put it to real-life use,” Shafer said. “We’d love to have a pipeline of employees from West High.”