Students enjoy exciting day at annual STEM “Ignite Opportunity” event

SHASTA COUNTY, Calif. — The Shasta County Coroner’s Office sent a team to yesterday’s Shasta County Office of Education STEM Career Fair to meet with high school freshman from all over northern California and introduce them to the highly specialized career.

The annual “Ignite Opportunity” event, which was held at Shasta Fairgrounds Friday, Nov. 16, was open to all area 9th grade students interested in expanding their future career options.


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STEM education focuses on the areas of study involving science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and education in these fields; with the aim of increasing the supply of qualified high-tech workers.

Shasta County Coroner Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Deirdre Amaro and the office’s current intern Cole Torvick spent Friday talking to students about career opportunities with the Coroner’s Office.

Originally founded by SCOE and the North State STEM Career Day Committee volunteers, and made possible by donations from community partners, the regional, one day event fosters Shasta County’s business community’s support and resources on encouraging North State students to prepare for and pursue career opportunities in STEM fields.

Saying they were “very excited about this opportunity to educate young minds and show them a career path that is not often sought,” Shasta County Coroner’s Office this year joined Spectrum Orthotic and Prosthetic Care, PHI Air Medical, Data Ray Inc., Shasta College, Inspired Robotics of Northern California, Schreder Planetarium, Applied Technology Solutions, Shasta Robots, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, and countless others, for the unique event.

At their booth this year, students from Trinity, Tehama, Siskiyou, Shasta, Plumas, Modoc, Lassen, Glenn, and Butte counties, had the opportunity to meet and speak with Shasta County Coroner Forensic Pathologist, Dr. Deirdre Amaro and the office’s current intern Cole Torvick about forensic technology as it relates to coroner services.

Students were able to use a microscope, handle various tools of the trade, and meet “Morty the Morgue Dummy,” a training tool used by the Coroner’s Office.

Regardless of their specific interests, during the event students enjoyed dynamic, engaging presentations from professionals working in STEM fields in the North State area; received real-world advice about STEM career paths and opportunities; and had direct access to and interaction with local professionals and college students; while participating in challenging STEM activities fostering collaboration and engineering practices.

See related: Redding young CSI’s & dino-detectives spend fun week learning about forensic science

High schools students can get first hand experience working in law enforcement by joining their school or District’s ROP program for Administration of Justice. College students can do so by volunteering or applying for internships, such as the Coroner’s Office’s Forensic Pathology Internship. These are just two examples of the ways to test career fields.

If you would like more information about the Shasta County Sheriff or Coroner Offices, visit For more information about STEM activities, visit Shasta County Office of Education.

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Shasta County Sheriff’s Office photos


Contact the writer:

Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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